14 August, 2018

New schemes to reduce number of households facing homelessness in Thanet

The Council has launched two new schemes to help reduce the number of households living in temporary accommodation in the District: the Help to Move Scheme and the Landlord Incentive Scheme

The Help to Move Scheme aims to assist those who are homeless – or are threatened with homelessness – by helping them to secure privately rented accommodation. This will help reduce the number of homeless applications made to the council, as well as reduce the need for homeless households to move into emergency or temporary housing.

Households who fulfill the criteria for assistance through the Help to Move Scheme can be given a Deposit Guarantee to act as a replacement for paying a cash deposit. The Deposit Guarantee is a written agreement between the tenant, landlord and council which details financial liability* for any damages to the property during the tenancy.

The Landlord Incentive scheme has been designed following work with local letting agents and landlords to understand the difficulties they face when letting to a new tenant. For example, new tenants may not have access to rent-in-advance, deposits or to a guarantor. The scheme is designed to provide a financial incentive to landlords, as well as offering a package of on-going support that will encourage local landlords to provide homes for local people.

Cllr Lesley Ann Game, Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “There has never been a more important time for these schemes to be available so we can support local people in need of accommodation. We are aware that many households could quickly find themselves in a housing emergency if their employment circumstances change. What is so important about these schemes is that they include support for both landlords and tenants to effectively manage the tenancy and prevent any breakdown before it reaches crisis point.

“Crucially the schemes help to reduce the need for temporary accommodation which can be very expensive to provide and more importantly, disruptive for households already facing the challenges of homelessness.”

To qualify for an incentive payment or the Help to Move scheme, certain criteria must be met. For more information, visit: www.thanet.gov.uk/helptomove

*Up to the value of the Deposit Guarantee

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