My home is too big for me, can I downsize?

Are you spending money on heating a large house you don’t need and/or struggling to maintain the house and garden? Would you like to move to a smaller home?

South Essex Homes wants to help Council tenants living in larger properties to move to more suitably sized homes, which in turn will help families who need larger accommodation.

In order to do this, South Essex Homes is offering a financial incentive to move. Any Southend-on-Sea City Council tenant who wants to move to a property with fewer bedrooms is eligible to apply.

How do I apply?

You need to apply for a transfer, which can be done by creating a Homeseekers Application via the login/My Account tab on the Council’s ‘On the Move’ website.  Your application will be assessed and you will be placed on a waiting list in accordance with your assessment priority.

You can contact South Essex Homes for a Tenancy Incentive Scheme Application form. Only after you have been made an offer of accommodation will your request for a Tenancy Incentive grant be processed. This will be subject to funds available.

I'm thinking of getting a mobility scooter, what do I do?

Residents should not purchase a scooter without seeking permission of South Essex Homes first. 

Also, before any agreement can be given, you will need to ensure that there is suitable storage and charging facilities for the scooter and no health and safety risks exist.  Failure to obtain this permission may affect your ability to keep the scooter and you may be required to dispose of it. 

Mobility scooters are not provided to individuals by the Council’s Social Services team and therefore there is no formal assessment of an individual’s ability to use one safely.  It is therefore strongly recommended that individuals who are considering purchasing a mobility scooter (or their family/carer) first check with South Essex Homes that the scooter will be permitted and then assess their ability to use one safely and competently.

If any individual has one of the following medical conditions, they are strongly advised to discuss with their Doctor whether they feel that it would prevent them from operating a mobility scooter without risk of harm to themselves or others before purchasing one:

  • A history of epileptic fits.
  • Other causes of loss of consciousness.
  • Impairment of memory, attention, concentration and spatial awareness.
  • Visual impairment.
  • Hearing impairment.
  • Recent history of alcohol/drug or substance misuse.
  • Severe tremor/ataxia.

South Essex Homes has a legal responsibility to meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  The Order applies to shared areas of South Essex Homes managed properties e.g. hallways, corridors, stairs, lifts and landings.  In order for South Essex Homes to meet these requirements, mobility/electric scooters will not be allowed in these shared areas. 

Storage and charging facilities are limited and cannot be guaranteed, therefore you may have to wait for storage space to become available.  If storage is provided users must be able to transport themselves from their flat to the vehicle storage area by independent means, with or without walking aid or wheelchair. 

If the mobility scooter is going to be stored in your home you need to take into account that most front door widths are 750 mm, if you live in a flat the communal door width will be approximately 800 mm.  A mobility scooter should be less than 700 mm wide.  So you need to ensure that you can ride the scooter into and out of your property. 

If you have any queries, please call our Contact Centre on 0800 833160.

Can I get help to decorate my home?

South Essex Homes offer a discretionary decorating scheme which is available to residents who are elderly or registered as disabled.  

To qualify you should be aged 60 or over, or be registered as disabled, be in receipt of housing benefit and have no other person within your household or living locally who is able to assist you. 

We will normally decorate one room of your choosing (or the hall and stairway) every three years, if your request has been agreed.  If you live in a bedsit flat, we will decorate the whole of the combined living and sleeping area.  

Please be aware that there is a waiting list and limited funds are available.  

All successful applicants will be added to this waiting list and will receive a confirmation letter from us, which should be kept for future reference.  We will endeavour to carry out redecorations as soon as possible.

If you meet the above criteria and wish to apply for this scheme, please contact us on 0800 833160 to request a decorating form.