Private landlords support homelessness in Gloucester
Gloucester City Council cabinet is being asked to support a new incentive to help relieve homelessness in the city.
Providing support and housing to some of the city’s most vulnerable people is a priority for the city council and its cabinet will hear a proposal on how this support can be vastly improved.
Money to specifically target homelessness has been made available to the council through the central government fund. Following cabinet approval, this money will be used revise incentives to private landlords so their properties can be used to house people on the city’s housing register.
Having gained access to the private renting sector as part of pilot scheme and therefore working with some private landlords, this additional support is already proving to be a success for the city council.
At the moment the demand for social housing in Gloucester is greater than the amount of properties available; despite 63 more houses becoming available last year. Today there are 3,979 people registered with the council for housing.
With the winter months drawing in the importance of finding housing for these individuals strengthens. By working with private landlords and providing them with incentives, the council is able to reduce the amount of time people spend in temporary accommodation.
If agreed by cabinet, this solution will help prevent and reduce homelessness in the city more quickly. It will also create greater access to the private rented market which will in turn provide self-contained homes where families and individuals can lead settled lives.
Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member responsible for communities and neighbourhoods at Gloucester City Council, said: “When a person needs our support with housing we very often have to rely on B&B’s and hotels until we can find them more permanent and appropriate accommodation. Not only is this solution costly but it’s completely unsustainable; last year alone the council spent £725k on temporary accommodation.
“The homelessness prevention grant funding from central government will help us have access to more properties, meaning people will not have to stay in an expensive B&B or hotel for a prolonged length of time. We are offering private landlords the guarantees and assurances they need whilst providing a home to a vulnerable member of our communities.”