£20m to secure homes for homeless as discriminatory letting ads face chop
The government has released nearly £20 million in funding to help people facing homelessness secure their own home.
Announced by housing minister Heather Wheeler, councils will be able to use the funds to help ‘vulnerable people secure their own tenancy through support such as paying deposits’.
The money, which has actually come from the £100m already announced and earmarked for the Rough Sleeping Strategy, is to be shared among 54 projects across England.
Additionally, MP Wheeler has outlined the government’s intentions to put an end to letting adverts which potentially discriminate people claiming housing benefit.
Currently, 889,000 of the 4.5 million households living in England’s private rental sector receive housing benefit. However, the latest figures reveal that around half of landlords are not be willing to let to tenants on housing benefit – which the government says rules out ‘thousands of vulnerable people and families’.
To tackle the issue, ministers intend to meet industry representatives such as ‘mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites to clamp down on blanket exclusions in adverts – with a view to stopping them altogether’.
Minister Wheeler MP said: ‘I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own.
‘This funding will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.
‘I will also be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of “No DSS”, to underline the need for immediate change.’
And there’s more: henceforth, local authorities can also bid for a share of up to £26m of Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding, which can be used to ‘fund innovative local schemes which help those sleeping rough and struggling with mental health problems or substance misuse issues. It will give them the wrap-around help they need to get back on their feet’.
And here’s the government’s press release should you want to read all this again with slightly more words.