Release Date: 18-Nov-2009
Margaret and Alan Robinson thought they had little chance of finding their dream retirement bungalow, until they found out about a new way of letting council homes in Kirklees.
The couple applied to be on the Kirklees Council housing register, just as the new ‘choose ‘n’ move’ scheme was introduced in July.
Margaret and Alan Robinson
The scheme, which is run by the council and KNH, is a radical departure from the old system of matching applicants to empty properties and makes the whole lettings process much more transparent.
Under choose ‘n’ move, all the available homes are advertised each week on a new website and in a special newsletter, which is available at all Housing Options and KNH offices, libraries, and a number of other housing and advice services.
“We were looking for a bungalow because I have some health problems, but assumed we’d have to wait a long time as other people would have higher priority than us,” said Margaret.
The couple started checking the choose ‘n’ move website and found what they were looking for in the very first week of the scheme
“The website was very easy to use and we saw just the thing, but in Clayton West – the other end of Kirklees from where we were and somewhere we’d never considered before,” said Alan.
“But the beauty of the scheme is that we had the chance to go check out the bungalow and the area before we bid for it. It opens up new opportunities and options – we thought it was great!”
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get it and so kept checking the website for other homes but nothing really grabbed us. Then one day we got a message that we’d got the bungalow,” added Margaret. “We couldn’t believe it – we were over the moon!”
As soon as they picked up the keys, Alan and Margaret set to work, getting everything just how they wanted so all they had to do when they moved in was just unpack and relax. Alan, who used to be a landscape gardener and who retires in May, has already cleared the garden and is making plans for new flowerbeds, lawns and a patio.
For Margaret, especially, the bungalow is her dream. “It’s so quiet and peaceful that at first I didn’t think I’d settle, but I absolutely love it now.
“We’ve got good neighbours here and I still see my family regularly, so it’s worked out better than we ever dared hope.”
“We’re thrilled to bits. This is our dream retirement home – it’s just what we’ve always wanted,” she said.
Elizabeth Firth manages KNH’s choose ‘n’ move customer support team. She said: “The scheme helps dozens of people every week find the home that they want. It’s very different from how we used to let council homes, but our customers tell us they like the new system.
“I’m so pleased that Mr and Mrs Robinson have found their ideal home and hope they’ll be very happy.”