Finding new solutions to prevent homelessness

REDUCING the problem of homelessness is the aim of a new leasing scheme up and running in Rother.

Rother District Council has set up Rother Leasing which it is hoped will improve housing outcomes and reduce the cost of providing temporary accommodation by preventing homelessness through greater access to quality and affordable accommodation.

The council is calling on property owners to come forward with properties that could be rented to residents across the district.

Benefits to property owners include a three-year lease, with the council taking on full management of the property. Property owners will also receive guaranteed monthly payments even if the property is vacant.

In addition, those offering potential properties that meet the eligibility criteria will receive a one-off payment when joining the leasing scheme.

Councillor Terry Byrne, lead member for Housing and Homes at Rother District Council, said: “In recent years we’ve seen a stagnation in the lettings market, partly caused by the potential but often unrealistic earnings from short term holiday lets, resulting in fewer properties available for long term rental.

“And when you add to the mix the continuing increase in the cost of living, you are faced with a greater risk of more people potentially becoming homeless.

“If you’d like to help us prevent homelessness by putting forward a property, then please get in touch with our team.”

The council successfully took on its first property under the scheme recently.

The property owners, who felt that rental costs for private properties were exorbitant and beyond the reach of many people, wanted to redress this situation and help a family in need.

The owners said: “Working with the Housing team saved us time looking for tenants and Rother District Council would, in effect, be our tenant. 

“The many incentives of the scheme were a very pleasant surprise and were enough to persuade us to proceed. 

“Thanks to the council, the house is now occupied, and we are helping a family in need, at a fair rent.”

Properties are subject to an inspection and must pass a check based on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. They must also have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report, Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate.

Property owners who would like to find out more about joining the Rother Leasing can call Rother District Council on 01424 787599 or email tenantfinder@rother.gov.uk.

Further details about the scheme can be found online at https://www.rother.gov.uk/housing/rother-leasing-scheme/    

The council also holds regular public forums with landlords and other local authorities. The next forum will be at Hastings United Football Club in Elphinstone Road, Hastings on Tuesday, October 18 from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

To attend this free event you must pre-register via the National Residential Landlords Association website at https://www.nrla.org.uk/events/meetings/5126?ref=la

Published: 22nd September 2022