Homeless accommodation easier to find
HOMELESS people are finding rented accommodation easier to obtain – thanks to a unique new scheme, which is being hailed a great success.The scheme, understood to be the first in the country, gives homeless couples and single people their rent up in advance.
HOMELESS people are finding rented accommodation easier to obtain – thanks to a unique new scheme, which is being hailed a great success.
The scheme, understood to be the first in the country, gives homeless couples and single people their rent up in advance.
Its launch followed research which showed that 90 per cent of local private landlords would not take on tenants who were dependent on housing benefit.
Other initiatives, such as deposit guarantees, had been tried and failed but the Coastal Housing Action Group (CHAG) devised a method to pay the landlord for the rent up front and then recoup it from the tenant's housing benefit.
The pilot scheme was funded Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk County Council
Each giving CHAG £10,000 to set up the Rent Up Front Fund (RUFF).
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Nine people have been helped by the fund in the past year, and organisers expect to help 30 more in the year ahead.
Stephen Burroughes, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for housing, said lessons learned from the first year of operation were now being analysed.
"This scheme ensures landlords are guaranteed the rent, on time and in advance, with CHAG taking the financial risk which they minimise by supporting the tenant and assisting them to correctly apply and adhere to the terms of claiming housing benefit," he said.
"It is believed to be the first scheme of its type in the country, and it may well be that many other areas will be looking to learn from its success."
Jim Overbury, of CHAG, said: "The scheme has been a success, with clients being housed and supported and with minimal losses.
"This should further enhance the reputation of CHAG and demonstrate that partnership working between statutory and voluntary organisations can work well."
Anyone who needs the support of the RUFF scheme, or who would be interested in offering accommodation to anyone under this initiative, can contact CHAG on 01728 602529.