HomeSwapper, MRI Software’s sector-leading mutual exchange platform for social housing, is being used by participants in the new Channel 5 series, Council House Swap, which follows social housing residents across the United Kingdom looking to swap their homes.
HomeSwapper has helped over 250,000 households find new homes since it first launched in 2007. The platform empowers social housing residents to source a mutual exchange from the UK’s largest community of home swappers and pool of properties. In 2019, HomeSwapper became available in Ireland through a pilot service, HomeSwapper.ie for Dublin and Cork Council residents.
The Council House Swap series follows households across the UK looking to swap their current homes for ones that meet changing needs. In each episode, social housing residents view multiple properties to search for the ideal new home with the hope of agreeing to an exchange. The series sets out to be a heart-warming exploration into the home swapping world by giving viewers an inside look at how council house tenants own their tenancies and bid for a better life or simply a change in scenery.
“Social housing residents are increasingly seeking homes that suit their lifestyles and priorities – whether more green space, a better commute, being nearer to family, or countless other reasons,” says Deborah Matthews, Vice President of Product Management at MRI. “During the first lockdown, we saw a surge in the number of people looking for house swapping opportunities in coastal towns such as Bournemouth and Plymouth –and the number of people wanting a garden significantly increased.”
Executive producer, Tayte Simpson, adds: “Now more than ever, people are taking stock and rethinking their lives, particularly when it comes to where they live. Priorities are changing, from wanting more space and moving further out to being closer to family… or perhaps further away! Set in the world of social housing, this series provides a fresh take on the property show.”
Nearly 40 million messages have been sent between tenants on the HomeSwapper platform. London, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham and Milton Keynes are the top places people want to move.
MRI’s Deborah Matthews notes: “Home swapping is more than just trying to find a place to live – it’s an emotional journey for people who want to find a place that feels like ‘home’. Our site is resident-powered, allowing people to speak to one another, self-organise, and exercise control over their tenancies. The power of choice is returned to the tenant to find the right homes for their needs.”
The Council House Swap series airs on Wednesdays at 9 pm on Channel 5.