Call for Oldham Landlords to help Young People who've faced Homelessness
Date published: 28 August 2019
Lucy West works for Centrepoint
Landlords in Oldham are being encouraged to help young people who have faced homelessness to find homes within the private rental sector, by End Youth Homelessness (EYH) and Yorkshire Building Society.
EYH is a movement of grassroots charities, including Centrepoint based in the North West, that work together at a local level to end youth homelessness on a national scale.
EYH has been working in partnership with Yorkshire Building Society to help homeless young people across the UK live independently.
High rents and upfront costs can make it difficult for those on low incomes to access private rented accommodation, with the costs of starting a tenancy running into thousands of pounds.
An estimated 103,000 young people in the UK are homeless or at risk of homelessness and, according to latest figures, 291 young people in Oldham received some homelessness support from their local authority in 2017/18.*
The Rent Deposit Scheme is a joint project that is funded through the charity partnership between Yorkshire Building Society and administered by EYH, the scheme helps private landlords to fill vacant properties quickly and free of charge.
Lucy West, Rent Deposit Scheme Development Worker for Centrepoint, said: “Our Rent Deposit Scheme helps young people in Oldham who have faced homelessness and are now ready to live independently to gain access to the private rented housing sector.
It provides landlords with a bond guarantee certificate in place of a traditional cash deposit. The bond protects the landlord from rent arrears and property damage.
“Young people accepted onto the scheme are able to maintain the conditions of their tenancy, respect their neighbours, and demonstrate the ability to save for their own deposit.
They are also in, or about to enter, education, employment or training and are committed to working with the rent deposit team to make their tenancy a lasting success.”
To date the scheme has been able to support over 200 young people around the country into their own rented homes.
Each year, EYH charities provide over 30,000 homeless young people with the accommodation and support they need to fulfil their potential.
Private landlords’ mortgage and insurance conditions can prohibit landlords from renting to people on benefits – however a recent survey of private landlords found that only 21 per cent would be willing to let to a young person moving on from homelessness accommodation.**
As well as funding the Rent Deposit Scheme, Yorkshire Building Society has updated its mortgage terms to enable landlords to offer tenancies to renters who receive benefits, such as former homeless young people.
Sasha Pauley, Charity Partnership Manager for Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that landlords with any of our buy-to-let mortgages can offer tenancies to renters who receive state benefits.
“We are committed to providing people with a home of their own and helping those who are looking to rent or buy a property. We believe that to build a successful future everyone needs a safe place to call home.
“The change last year to our letting requirements improves rental opportunities for a wider range of people searching for a home, and also increases the choice of potential tenants for landlords.
"This builds on the work we are doing with End Youth Homelessness, which will provide practical help to homeless young people across the UK who are ready to live independently.”
Through the partnership, YBS aims to raise £750,000 to support homeless young people into their own rented homes.
Benefits to landlords:
Centrepoint has a number of potential tenants, so that vacancies can be filled quickly and free of charge.
All tenants are provided with support for paying bills, maintaining their tenancy and saving towards their own deposit.
All tenants are given a move-in grant, to help furnish their home.
Help to support a young person in need of housing to make an independent start in life.
To be eligible for the scheme, landlords must:
Ensure all properties meet basic safety requirements.
Be prepared to let properties to young people receiving benefits or on low income.
Work with Centrepoint to resolve any problems that may arise.
Inform Centrepoint before taking any action to end a tenancy.
Provide evidence of buy to let or mortgage free status.
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