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Cherwell Housing Register

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Housing Options

Cherwell is an area with a shortage of affordable homes. There is a very high demand for social housing to rent. We will not be able to help everyone who applies to us, and other alternatives will have to be considered.  These include:

What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is a straight swap of homes between tenants.  You have a right to exchange your tenancy with another secure tenant, or with an assured tenant of a registered social landlord, or a charitable housing trust as long as both landlords agree to the move and confirm it in writing. This can be a really good way to move to a new home of the right size in the right area. If you have a tenancy with the council or live in a housing association dwelling you can advertise on our mutual exchange register. Someone may be advertising your dream home!

There are rules about who can swap. If you find someone who wants to swap homes with you, you must get permission from your landlord.

How do I apply for a mutual exchange?

First of all you must find someone to swap with. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as advertising in your local press or shop windows. You can also try Homeswapper  or similar websites.

I've found someone to swap with. What do I do next?

You must apply to your landlord for permission to swap and they:

  • will check your application to see whether they can give permission or not
  • will either agree or refuse permission in writing within 42 days from when you applied
  • will only refuse permission on specific grounds set out in legislation
  • can give conditional permission if you have broken the terms of your tenancy on the understanding that you remedy any breach of your tenancy agreement before you move.

Why would my application be turned down?

The main reasons your application can be turned down are if:

  • the County Court has granted your landlord a possession or suspended possession order for rent arrears or some other reason
  • you have been served with a notice of seeking possession, which is still valid for rent arrears or some other breach of your tenancy agreement
  • your move results in overcrowding or substantial under-occupation
  • one of you has a tied tenancy
  • either of you want to move into a home designed for a disabled person or someone with special needs or part of a sheltered housing scheme and do not need or qualify for this type of accommodation.

Remember you must not swap your home without the written permission of your landlord.

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HomeBuy

HomeBuy.co.uk is the single web site for the South East of England and operated jointly by Moat, Thames Valley Housing Association and Catalyst Housing Group.The site covers Kent, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. If you wish to buy a property in these areas but cannot afford to raise enough money for a mortgage, or wish to rent but cannot afford to pay market rents, then HomeBuy may be able to help you.

If you are a key worker (such as teacher, nurse or certain other public sector workers) you may qualify for help to buy or rent a home.

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Private sector renting

A lot of accommodation in Oxfordshire is rented from private landlords. You can find details of private accommodation in local newspapers and free sheets, on the internet and through estate agents.

To view the latest properties available to rent in the private sector go to:

If you want to rent in the private sector you may be entitled to help with:

If you want further information about renting in the private sector please contact us.

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Homes for older people

In Oxfordshire we are fortunate to have a good supply of homes for older people. It can take a variety of forms:

Sheltered housing is specially designed for older people. You may choose it because you:

  • need housing more suitable to your mobility needs
  • want the peace of mind and security of a safe environment with staff on hand
  • value the friendship and opportunities to get involved with activities that living in a sheltered scheme can offer.

Schemes do vary, but generally include:

  • self contained flats with their own bathrooms and fitted kitchens
  • communal facilities such as a laundry room, communal social rooms and guest room
  • social and other activities on site
  • security and safety features such as door entry systems

If you want further information about sheltered housing please contact us.

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Adaptations for the physically disabled

We have a grant programme to help make your home suitable to live in if you have a disability. We can assist home owners, private tenants and housing association tenants and can provide:

  • stair-lifts
  • additional toilets
  • bath/shower facilities
  • ground floor bedrooms
  • ramps
  • door widening
  • kitchen alterations etc.

If you want further information please contact us.

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Staying put with Cherwell HIA

Cherwell HIA can help elderly and disabled people to stay in their own home by arranging a range of services including: repairs, adaptations, improvements etc., and organising funding where possible. It also operates a Handy Person Scheme to help with small repair work.

If you want further information please contact us

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The Community Alarm System

The Community Alarm Service is available to all elderly and disabled residents in our area. The scheme provides portable alarms combined with a telephone which are very easy to install.

If you want further information please contact us

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Other Councils

If you have strong links with a Council in a different part of the country you may be able to register on their council list. For more details contact the local council you are interested in.

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Housing advice

You can contact us for advice on any housing problem and we will do our best to help. However, you may sometimes want specialist advice and below are a number of organisations which offer such advice:

  • Shelter is one of the main housing charities in the UK and gives advice on many housing issues
  • Age UK offers specialist advice to older people
  • Turpin & Miller offer a drop in service for initial legal advice free of charge, on issues including anti-social behaviour orders, injunctions, disrepair, social housing, possession and homelessness
  • Citizens Advice Bureau help people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free information and advice from over 3,000 locations, and by influencing policymakers.

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