More than 800 social housing tenants attended a fair designed to help them find a better suited property to call home.

The Home Swap roadshow was jointly organised by Brent Council, Harrow Council and Barnet Council and seven housing associations, and was one of the largest events of its type ever held in the UK.

Those at the conference, held at The Welford Centre in Chalkhill Road, Wembley, on Wednesday last week, were able to learn more about exchanging houses, flats and bedsits in the three north-west London boroughs, prompting more than 500 to register their interest.

One, Mary Kennedy, said: “This is my first time coming to an event like this. I’ve got a three bedroom house, but because of some health issues I’m looking to downsize and move into a ground floor flat or bungalow.

“I think that events like this are great – and I’m going to follow up on some that I’ve seen.”

Existing tenants are eligible to swap.

David Montague, chief executive of L and Q, said: “Peoples’ needs are changing as their families grow up and new measures like the size criteria come into effect.

“By working together and being innovative, housing associations and local authorities can offer their residents a greater choice and more opportunities.

“These mutual exchange events are just one of the many ways that housing associations like L&Q are supporting their residents who face the changes brought by welfare reform.”

L and Q facilitates an average of one swap a month and the free procedure is becoming increasingly popular. Usually a two-way transaction, it can involve three or even four sets of residents relocating.

Reasons for wanting a move can include downsizing - particularly in the wake of the benefit changes and the introduction of the spare room subsidy - upsizing or simply a desire to live somewhere else but with the same number of bedrooms.

Registrants can browse available properties through home swap brokerage services such run on behalf of registered social landlords.

Laurence Coaker, head of housing needs for Brent Council, said: ““Since the introduction of housing benefit reforms last year, housing providers across London have increased the support and services that they provide - these Home Swap events are just one of the many ways they are helping.”