A BRENT woman said rent in the borough is becoming too much of a strain and she would consider moving abroad to free up her council property.
Patricia Hislop, 56, of Wilson Drive, Wembley, has lived in Brent all her life but is considering moving and said she is interested in proposals being considered by Harrow Council to give people up to £20,000 to help them relocate abroad in order to make larger homes available for families.
Brent Council is considering a similar scheme to pay people to move to more affordable areas and Miss Hislop said she hoped this would eventually extend to helping people move abroad.
The Metropolitan Housing Trust resident, who has lived in the large two-bedroom flat for 25 years, said: “I have been finding it very difficult to find a job and the rent is a struggle in this flat.
“I think it would be perfect for a young family. If there was an offer to move abroad I would go immediately.
“I love it here, but the rent is too much. It is not just the rent but the fact that I have two rooms and I don’t use all the space, so it is a waste for me to have this flat.”
Miss Hislop, a professional hairdresser, gave up her job to care for her 83-year-old father in Jamaica for 11 months and returned to Brent in December last year. She has since been struggling to find a job and is now receiving housing benefits.
Miss Hislop read the recent article in the Observer ‘Council could pay families to move abroad’ and was interested as her father needs care and she would like to spend more time with him.
Miss Hislop said: “I would consider moving elsewhere in the country as it is cheaper. It would have to be somewhere where there are jobs, but to move to Jamaica would be perfect – I would go in the blink of an eye.”
Harrow Council has stressed the initiative, which is at the very early stages of development, would only be offered to tenants considering a move away and it would be entirely their choice.
Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Bob Currie, said: “Harrow has one of the smallest stocks of social housing in London and it is in high demand. The council would not be doing its duty if it did not consider all sorts of different ideas to ensure we are able to provide the best housing options for our residents.
“It must be stressed that there is no commitment to introducing any of the schemes at this time and they have not been recommended for implementation.”
A spokesman from Brent Council said: “We’ve had no requests for this but any requests will be considered on a case by case basis.”