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Cambridge City Council

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Coronavirus: Updates and information

Find out about available support and how to offer help. Our customer service centre is open to help you by email and phone. Please continue to follow official NHS and government advice.

Temporary change of postal address for City Homes office

Please send any mail for our Housing team to PO Box 700, Cambridge CB1 0JH.

Report of telephone scam targeting council tenants

A fake company known as 'The Outbound Team' have been calling tenants across the country, asking for personal information, but they are not legitimate. If you receive any calls that concern you, please contact us.

Swap or downsize your council home

If you want to move from your council home to another, there are 3 main options available to you. You can register with Home-Link, a lettings scheme that prioritises applicants by their housing need, or you can try to find a mutual exchange. If you are keen to move out of Cambridge, you can apply to Homefinder UK.

If you apply through Home-Link, a transfer is only likely to be granted if:

  • You live in a property that is too large or small for your needs
  • You have a medical need that is made worse by your current housing conditions
  • You are a victim of harassment or violence

There is a lot of demand for housing through Home-Link, so you might want to try to find a mutual exchange. This involves finding a tenant of a council property who will swap homes with you – it can be faster than going through Home-Link.

The HomeSwapper website can be a good starting point. You could also search on websites such as Gumtree and social media, or rely on word of mouth.

We must approve all exchanges, and we will need to inpect your property to do so. There is legislation governing them, including grounds for us to refuse exchanges, such as a property being too large for your needs.

When you book an inspection, we’ll ask whether anyone in your home is displaying coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. If this changes before the inspection date, please inform us immediately.

For the safety or your family and our staff, we have changed the way we carry out inspections and electrical checks. During the inspection:

  • Open the front and back doors and leave internal doors open, to minimise our use of door handles
  • Keep working areas well ventilated and free of obstructions
  • Stay in another room with everybody in your household who is present

If you cannot do this, we will leave the property. We thank you for your patience and cooperation.

The Homefinder UK scheme is a good way to get a quick move to social housing elsewhere in the country, without needing to find someone to swap with.

Move to a smaller home

While it can be difficult to give up a family home that you have lived in for a long time, we encourage you to consider whether you still need a property as large as you have.

We are not currently accepting applications for our downsizing scheme, as the budget for 2020/21 has been spent.

In some cases we can help with the cost of moving to a smaller property. You are eligible if you have held your tenancy for two or more years and receive a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

Level of allowance paid for moving to a smaller property
Moving from Moving to Removal cost allowance
2-bedroom property 1-bedroom property £450
3-bedroom property 2-bedroom property £650
3-bedroom property 1-bedroom property £650
4-bedroom property 3-bedroom property £800
4-bedroom property 2-bedroom property £800
4-bedroom property 1-bedroom property £800
5-bedroom property 4-bedroom property £800
5-bedroom property 3-bedroom property £800
5-bedroom property 2-bedroom property £800
5-bedroom property 1-bedroom property £800

This incentive is also applicable through mutual exchange, provided all parties are moving to a property they would be eligible for under our letting policy.

We hope that more money will be allocated to the under-occupancy scheme budget in April 2021. If it is, you’ll be able to apply if you have held your tenancy for two or more years.