HOMELESS families have been given the keys to 30 properties in Coventry after the launch of a new rent guarantee scheme providing more permanent affordable tenancies.
Launched in May 2020 by officers in the Coventry City Council’s Homeless and Homelessness Team, Let’s Rent Coventry encourages private landlords to provide a tenancy at an affordable price. It then matches potential tenants with landlords who have properties to let.
Now the scheme is keen to sign up more private landlords, who can also benefit from a deposit covering up to five weeks rent.
Coun David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “I’m really pleased with the progress of Let’s Rent Coventry.
“It has many benefits: empty properties are filled; and both the private landlord and tenant have the security of knowing that the Council is facilitating the scheme so that the rent is affordable, and the landlord will receive guaranteed rent.”
The Council provides a free service, lettings, inspections and the security of a 12 or 24-month tenancy, alongside guaranteed rent payments from the Council.
Coun David Welsh added: “This project is reducing the costs of homelessness to the Council, offering security for tenants and provides an income for the landlord.”
Council accommodation officer Shannon Darcy-Bromell has helped to expand the programme.
Despite challenges faced by local Covid-19 restrictions she said landlords and tenants can see the mutual benefits, particularly the wellbeing of families.
Shannon said: “We housed a family recently who had been in temporary accommodation for six months and had been searching for a permanent home privately and via Homefinder, to no avail.
“The family were struggling in their temporary accommodation due to the size and location of the property and the mother desperately wanted her children to have a bedroom of their own, as they were sharing with her.
“This family were offered a privately rented property closer to the children’s school and to their support network. They were elated to be offered a permanent home.”
The mum-of-three said: “The positive effect the scheme has had on me and my family is astonishing, to finally have stability and the boys having their own room making them feel so safe and settled.”
Coun Welsh said: “This is a great example of the work that the housing and homeless service has been doing. I’m delighted for the family and credit the work of Shannon and her many colleagues.
“Let’s Rent Coventry guarantees up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate for the period of the tenancy and, at the end of each successful year of the tenancy, the Council will make a bonus one-off payment equivalent to a month’s rent.” For the latest Local Housing Allowance rates, see here.
The Council is currently looking for one to five bedroom properties throughout the city and have a number of suitable families ready to move into a new home.
How to get involved in the Let’s Rent scheme:
- Rental properties can be furnished or unfurnished.
- They will be inspected to check that landlords have up-to-date safety features and relevant certification.
- Checks are made in advance to identify suitable tenants and landlords so that standards can be monitored and maintained.
- A signed rent guarantee agreement is made between the Council and landlord.
If you are interested in Let’s Rent Coventry, contact Letsrentcoventry@coventry.gov.uk for further information about the scheme or how you can get involved. For further details visit: coventry.gov.uk/letsrentcoventry