Government to assist vulnerable with PRS deposits or first month’s rent

Government to assist vulnerable with PRS deposits or first month’s rent

11:27 AM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago 12

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Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP has confirmed over £19.5 million is to be shared among 54 projects across England to help thousands of people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, to secure their own home.

Councils will use the funding boost to help vulnerable people secure their own tenancy through support such as, paying deposits or putting down the first months’ rent.

This will give them an opportunity to make a home in a property they may otherwise not have been able to access.

This funding forms part of the £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy which set out detailed plans to end rough sleeping for good.

Today the Minister has also outlined plans to look at letting adverts which potentially discriminate against would-be tenants on Housing Benefit and made clear these should end.

Out of 4.5 million households living in private rental accommodation, 889,000 receive housing benefit to help pay their rent.

Yet the latest figures show around half of landlords said they would not be willing to let to tenants on Housing Benefit – ruling out thousands of vulnerable people and families.

In the coming months, ministers will meet leading industry representatives, including mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites to clamp down on blanket exclusions in adverts – with a view to stopping them altogether.

This builds on ongoing government action to create a fairer housing market that works for everyone.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said:

“I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own.

“This funding will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.

“I will also be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of ‘No DSS’, to underline the need for immediate change.”

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson said:

“Everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they are in receipt of benefits.

“With Universal Credit, payments can be paid directly to the landlord, and we continue to listen to feedback and work with landlords to improve the system.”

Landlords can already receive rent from tenants on Housing Benefit and Universal Credit – meaning payments can be paid directly into their accounts.

This helps strengthen the choices and opportunities available for those on benefits to secure the homes they and their families need.

In a third move, local authorities can from today, also bid for a share of up to £26 million of Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding for 2019 to 2020.

This extra investment can be used to fund innovative local schemes which help those sleeping rough and struggling with mental health problems or substance misuse issues. It will give them the wrap-around help they need to get back on their feet.

Further Information

The Private Rented Sector Access Fund will support minimum tenancies or existing tenancies for a period of 12 months.

See more information about the 54 projects set to receive funding: PRS Access Fund successful bids 

The Crisis Private Rented Sector Access Programme ran from 2010 until 2014, backed by £11 million in funding from the government. The programme supported over 153 schemes across the sector, creating 8,000 tenancies over 4 years. A total of 90% of these schemes created lasted beyond 6 months.


by Fen Jen

12:15 PM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Well if the mortgage companies agree to accept DSS and the government pays the full rent direct then maybe it might be possible to house DSS tenants. Stopping it being put in the advert wont make any difference as landlord has choice who he rents to and he will rent to whoever can pay. Jenny

by Jack Craven

12:21 PM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago

1. I dont want to let to DSS tenants not for who or what they are but because the council is such a pain to deal with and I don't need the hassle.
2. Why does this article describe DSS tenants as vulnerable? A lot of them will be perfectly fine people who for one reason or another have fallen on hard times, and a lot of the rest are thieves and crooks just out to screw the system and us landlords, both types are not at all vulnerable.

by Clint

12:31 PM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago

If you think councils are a pain to deal with, you have yet to experience Universal Credit. Dealing with councils are a breeze compared to universal credit where you will lose rent on practically every occasion or at least I have and there is nothing one can do about it.

by Michael Bond

15:52 PM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I wonder where Heather Wheeler MP and her advisers have lived all their lives. I live in a pretty and apparently prosperous village in Dorset. I can think of only a couple of rough sleepers in the village in the last 10 years, but I know personally plenty of concealed homeless -- eg a couple with a baby living in the spare room of the parents of one of them, or a young person sofa surfing around his friends and their parents. There are more of these than there are rough sleepers. No amount of shuffling money around will help in the end. The country needs more homes, and present planning laws. make it almost impossible to build them. In fairness this Government made an attempt to simplify the system a few years ago. This caused such a furore from Planning Officers and NIMBYs that they backed off.
As already said we all know that the main problem is not with Benefit/"DSS" tenants themselves but with the way the system for making payments works. Also as already said landlords can still decide not to accept Benefits tenants. Not being able to say so when advertising simply wastes everybody's time. If Ms Wheeler's civil servants got off their bums and tried to find out they would knows this and could tell her.

by Robert Mellors

22:42 PM, 4th March 2019, About 3 years ago

It will be interesting to know how this scheme will work in practice, as all the rent deposit schemes I've come across so far have been very limited in scope and provides very little incentive or protection for landlords. I guess the "deposit" will be limited to one month's rent, or one month's rent in advance?

The scheme does not provide a full rent and damage guarantee, so if tenant does not pay and landlord is stuck with them for 12 months (with no rent being received) while they wreck the house, (then has court fees to pay out to evict them), this scheme is not really going to help!

by David Nic

11:11 AM, 5th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Councils should guarantor the rent. They will soon realise why we complain.

by Clint

12:17 PM, 5th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Nic at 05/03/2019 - 11:11
As far as I am aware, Croydon Council acted as a guarantor for about 3 months and then gave up

by michelle green

18:07 PM, 5th March 2019, About 3 years ago

“I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own".
Really?? That`s why there has been a huge increase in leasehold houses, onerous ground rent terms, uncapped service charge fees and an anticipated flood of huge build to rent estates.

by Mick Roberts

15:29 PM, 12th March 2019, About 3 years ago

If they stopped chopping our arm off in secret fees & taxes that the public don't understand, they then wun't have to pay this money out to the other arm.

Some notes on this from me phone calendar.

Let Landlords do what they want as long as it's legal, stop all the Govt and Council tax and Licensing attacks etc.
Loads more people would buy to rent out. More choice for tenants, they'd say Not having your house not good enough and they go down the road to get the next one.
But now there is no choice for them, yet we get the blame.
So Govt attacks us again, we charge the tenant to pay for these attacks, tenant goes to Govt again moaning, Govt attacks us again and the circle carries on.

Then no Landlords will buy in future which is why we having this problem now. Lack of supply.
Let Landlords do what they want as long as it's legal.
Stop giving em all these charges which the tenants end up paying.
And landlords will stop exiting, more Landlords will enter, tenants will have more choice, landlords will have to up their game.

by Annie Landlord

0:46 AM, 13th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Deposit and first month's rent makes a home available to a tenant, but government also needs to guarantee rent and support landlords to evict tenants if there is property damage or anti social behaviour. If government was aware of how frequently this happens they may begin to understand some of the issues. Providing a deposit and first month's rent helps the government, it doesn't help landlords

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