£20m fund to help homeless into private rented homes

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has launched a £20 million fund to enable councils to implement new schemes so that those at risk of homelessness will have the support to secure their own tenancy.

Launched on World Homeless Day, the Private Rented Sector Access Fund is a key part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy and is designed to help up to 9,000 people who are or at risk of becoming homeless to secure their own home. It will either help set up locally-led schemes or expand those currently in use. This could see the council managing the property on the landlord’s behalf.

Brokenshire said: “It is vital we give people facing homelessness a route out of it and a chance to rebuild their lives. The private rented sector has an important role in this. This £20 million fund will allow councils to put in place vital new schemes so that those at risk will have the support to secure their own tenancy. It is just one part of the wide-ranging work we are doing to help tackle all forms of homelessness, including our Rough Sleeping Strategy as we ensure more homes are made available for those in need.”

Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesperson, said of the funding: “It’s positive to see more details of how homeless people will be able to access the private rented sector under this scheme – we look forward to working with government on this. However, if we’re to truly tackle homelessness in this country, we need to be moving much further, much faster. With the loss of a private rented tenancy the leading cause of homelessness, it’s essential that those on the sharp end of our housing crisis are given as much support as possible.

“Councils need urgent action to support them in their fight against homelessness, which is why the Government should devolve all homelessness funding to councils so that they can address the issues around homelessness in their local area. Local authorities can help end homelessness if given the tools to build more homes needed locally – it’s hugely positive that the Prime Minister has announced a scrap on the cap preventing councils from borrowing to build new homes, but it is critical that this is implemented as soon as possible.”

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