Government Housing Swaps - Pros and Cons

by annef54

Ways that you can swap your government housing with others in different areas and things to be aware of when you do.

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Housing Department Swaps - Things You Should Take Into Consideration

Be Aware of All the Pitfalls Before You Take This Step

I'm not sure if this system works in other countries or states, but in New South Wales the tennants of Government Housing are allowed to swap with others.

The first step when you want to swap your apartment or house is to fill up a form at the Department of Housing and list all the reasons for wanting a swap. You also need a doctor's certificate that supports such a swap.

The Department will review your application and within 21 days send you a letter to say if they have approved or not approved your application.

Of course, when they do not approve the application, you always have the right to appeal the decision. But appealing such a decision is sometimes very hard to overturn as the Department will give all sorts of reasons not to approve the application.

What to do next?

Say they approved your application. What to do next?

Periodically the Department sends you a list of people who wish to swap. It helps if you study those lists to find if anyone wants to swap with you. Another method is to put an ad on, which is a non-profit website established particularly for the residents of public housing.


What do I have to be aware of?

The thing to consider is this. If a housing resident is approved for a swap and they want to swap, most of the time they are unhappy with their current dwelling. And 90% of the time, they have problematic neighbours or residents with severe mental health issues or alcohol and drug problems. The thing you have to be aware is that if someone is happy with their environment, very rarely people would like to move and go through all that trouble of living in a new place.

Of course, there are genuine cases when the person needs to be close to their family or they need to be close to the city to cut down on travelling time to work.

Before you swap with someone, ask as many questions as you can and ask about their neighbours and who they are. Constantly ask questions about the atmosphere of the compound they live in and watch for their reactions. Some people are so desperate to leave their current dwelling that they will make up all sorts of reasons about why they want to move. Be intuitive and somehow get the feel if they are lying about something or they are covering the reality of the situation.

Most times, people are trying to sell you the current trouble they've got, hoping that you might find a better way around it. It is too late to find out the truth after you have gone through all the trouble of moving away from your familiar place and thought the grass is greener on the other side.

Another issue to take into consideration is your own mental health issues. If at the current location you are close to family and friends, just consider that when you move away from them that your mental health might disintegrate. Some people with mental health issues become totally unsettled and disoriented in unfamiliar areas and this will increase their feelings of isolation and depression.

Moving to a new area is always unsettling, even though you are in the same town. The old familiar faces of the shopkeepers and the supermarket checkout staff are gone, the familiar roads and shops are gone, you are in a new area trying to find your way through the streets and suburbs.

Sometimes it really feels like you've moved to a new country and starting all over again. Different suburbs have different feels about them, some good and some bad. To get used to it all over again can sometimes put a lot of emotional strain on the person.

All these issues have to be taken into consideration when you wish to swap and hopefully you actually get the ideal swap that you've always wanted and all your fears come to nothing.

But it is good to be aware of the advantages and the disadvantages of such a move.     

Updated: 01/01/2012, annef54
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