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Downsize your home (council and housing association homes)

If you are a council or housing association tenant with one or more spare bedrooms, moving to a smaller, cheaper home could be possible through the Smart Move scheme. You could get up to £1,000 for each bedroom you give up. 

Why downsize your home?

  • You have had your housing benefit reduced
  • Your children have grown up, left home and you no longer need the extra bedrooms
  • Your heating bills have gone up and you are finding it harder to heat your home
  • You are finding the stairs difficult
  • You would like to move nearer to family or friends

What are the benefits of downsizing?

  • Once registered you will be placed in priority Band 1 to choose your new home. This is the highest priority band and you will have a much better chance of getting the home you want.
  • If you’re a council tenant you will get an incentive payment of £1,000 for each bedroom that you give up. You will also get a moving allowance to help with relocation costs. If you are a housing association tenant you will need to discuss with your landlord if they offer an incentive payment through their own internal scheme. (* please note that the incentive payments will be paid into your old rent account if you have arrears).
  • Households above the pension credit age can still hold onto an additional bedroom if needed. For example, if you are moving from a three-bedroom home but only need one bedroom, you can still apply for a two-bedroom home. If you are below the pension credit age you can only get a property that meets your needs following changes to housing benefit rules.

To register for Smart Move, you will need to complete an online housing application form.

For additional support with Smart Move contact the Housing Choice team by emailing or calling the Housing Advice Line on 020 7525 5950. Our frequently asked questions page may also answer additional questions you may have, click here to view 

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Page last updated: 28 September 2022


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