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Birmingham launches private-rented sector housing scheme for homeless families

Published: Monday, 5th October 2020

With the evictions ban now lifted, Birmingham City Council has launched a scheme that is set to help hundreds of people find affordable housing and support landlords in the private rented sector.

Working with Help 2 Rent, an organisation that makes social housing simple for tenants and landlords, the scheme will look to provide incentives to landlords who offer 12-month fixed tenancies to those on the council’s homeless and housing registers.

The scheme will enable landlords to select from a range of assurances such as landlord insurance, rental deposits or rental guarantees, that are often barriers to accepting those who are either on benefits, the council’s housing register or low-income families as tenants.

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council said, “In the last decade, homelessness has risen exponentially and a lack of affordable housing, as well as the impact of the Covid pandemic across the city, is only exacerbating the situation with Birmingham receiving more than 6,000 homeless applications in the last year.

“We believe that everyone has the right to a decent home and while Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority housebuilder in the UK; with 13,000 people on its housing register, it can no longer meet the current level of demand needed to prevent homelessness across the city. It’s therefore imperative that we unlock the potential of the private-rented sector to provide housing for those who are most in need.

“I’m extremely pleased that we have been able to launch this scheme that will provide the reassurances that landlords in the private-sector need, to allow us to rent their properties to those with lower incomes and provide much needed housing.”

At the launch of the scheme, 93 households from the council’s homeless register were identified and paired with landlords in the private-rented sector who have used the scheme to accept new tenancies.

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