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We are urging private landlords to help the homeless

3 September 2018

We're appealing to private landlords to help tackle homelessness.

We believe that more properties are required to house an increasing number of people in need.

We will draw up free tenancy agreements and offer a package of advice and support to local landlords who are willing to offer minimum 12 month lets.

The number of homelessness applications we received increased from 61 to 167 in 2017/18 and the latest figures show that 36 people presented as homeless in the three months from 1 April to 30 June of this year.

We work closely with 26 private landlords who readily offer shelter to those who have lost their homes and hope more will now consider doing the same.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, our Portfolio Holder for Housing and Innovation, said: “The common misconception is that homeless people have drug and alcohol problems, lead chaotic lives and only have themselves to blame.

“In reality people from all walks of life can suddenly find themselves homeless for a whole variety of reasons, such as the loss of employment or the breakdown of a relationship.

“We are asking private landlords who may feel reluctant to offer their property to a homeless person to put aside any misconceptions and work with us.”

The suitability of all tenants will be carefully assessed. Both the landlord and tenant will be fully supported throughout the tenancy.

There is a general shortage of accommodation but the biggest demand is for one bedroom properties.

Rents will be charged at the Local Housing Allowance rate of £421.10 a month for a one bedroom and £536.98 a month for a two bedroom property.

“You’d be forgiven for thinking homelessness isn’t a problem here in South Lakeland, however the truth is that the number of people needing help to keep a roof over their head is increasing.

“The council’s Housing Options team is working hard on both the prevention and relief of homelessness. We have some big challenges to overcome and by liaising with more private landlords we will be able to reach out to those who need our help,” added Cllr Brook.

Landlords who require more information should contact Jocelyn Park, our Private Rented Accommodation Officer, by email: jocelyn.park@southlakeland.gov.uk or by calling 01539 793285.

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