Council launches appeal for landlords to support homeless residents
Camden Council is appealing for private landlords to help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities secure a safe place to call home.
Landlords are set to be offered cash incentives and extensive support for them and their tenants in exchange for letting to residents who are ready to move on from homeless services and live independently.
The appeal is being launched as the number of people needing support from homelessness services has increased as a result of Covid-19.
Affordable private accommodation is required to help those who are ready to move on from homeless services. Securing suitable homes for these residents will help to free up vital council resources to provide further support to rough sleepers and homeless families who have been accommodated during the pandemic.
Since March, Camden Council has secured emergency accommodation to protect over 200 people who were previously sleeping rough from Covid-19 and the council now faces a significant challenge as it seeks to move these residents out of temporary accommodation and into long-term services where they can continue to receive support. All the while new people are continuing to arrive on our streets in need of support - some recently made homeless by the economic impact of coronavirus.
Therefore, Camden is appealing for landlords to support their local community in the fight against homelessness by letting a property at the local housing allowance rate, which will help create an opportunity for someone to leave homelessness behind for good.
In exchange the council is offering landlords a cash incentive of up to £2,000 to let a one bed property and up to £4,500 for larger properties as well as an extensive package of support that includes:
- Support from our Move on Team and Floating Support Service – Dedicated services that are ready to assist residents as they move on from homelessness. The teams provide tenants with guidance on finances, credit checks, utilities and managing housing benefit and other claims.
- Pre-tenancy training from the Piece-by-Piece Programme – A service that will help residents to prepare for their tenancy by ensuring that they understand, and know how to meet, their tenancy and financial responsibilities.
- Access to the Self-Help Scheme – As an alternative to the cash incentive, this initiative provides tenants with one month’s rent in advance and four week’s rent deposit.
- Advisers that will remain available throughout the lifetime of the tenancy.
Partnership lies at the heart of the Camden way of doing things. Through working closely with our local charities and volunteers we have helped over 200 rough sleepers in to safe accommodation since the start of the pandemic – creating the foundations for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put an end to homelessness in our communities.
This collaborative approach has changed so many lives in such a short amount of time, but the good work is far from over. To take this incredible progress even further, we are now appealing to our landlord community to work with us to support those who are ready, willing and able to move on from our homelessness services – in turn freeing up vital resources to care for those who were on our streets at the start of the pandemic as well as those who have recently been made homeless because of Covid-19.
A good home can change a life for the better, but it is something that can remain out of reach for some of the most vulnerable in our society. In Camden – like the rest of London – the demand for affordable, safe homes outweighs supply. However, by bringing together and supporting landlords who can provide these homes with those who are ready to seize the opportunity to lead an independent life, we hope to show once again the remarkable difference the community spirit in Camden can make in spite of the challenges presented by Covid-19.