Nationwide Foundation £1.2 m ‘Fair Housing Futures’ project hosted by Shelter

by Property 118

11:58 AM, 13th May 2019
About 3 months ago

Nationwide Foundation £1.2 m ‘Fair Housing Futures’ project hosted by Shelter

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Nationwide Foundation £1.2 m ‘Fair Housing Futures’ project hosted by Shelter

A £600,000 pot of funding launched in Greater Manchester aims to find real-life solutions to the housing problems facing thousands of vulnerable private renters in the city.

Funded by the Nationwide Foundation and hosted by housing charity Shelter, the £1.2 million Fair Housing Futures project seeks to address the challenges of accessing and living in Greater Manchester’s private rented sector, that are faced by tenants with limited financial and social support.

The scheme is now calling for local organisations such as tenants’ groups, housing associations, and organisations covering planning, development and even health and well-being, to apply to have their ideas backed with cash from a £600,000 grant fund.

Shelter’s Roli Barker,project manager for Fair Housing Futures, said:“We know from our Shelter front line services that the lack of social housing in Manchester is pushing more people into unstable private rentals.

“This funding from the Nationwide Foundation is an incredible opportunity for us as a city to help ourselves, to create a network of funded local projects that get right to the heart of the issues facing our vulnerable private renters. We want to leave a legacy of practical solutions, that make access to housing not only easier, but fairer.”

The project has already mapped out how sky-high rents and poor conditions across Greater Manchester leave many vulnerable renters struggling to survive in what Shelter describes as a broken private rented system.

This research will help the project’s partnership board to distribute £600,000 of grant funding to organisations in Greater Manchester over the next three years, as they work to test and develop successful applications.

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor and Greater Manchester’s lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, and who sits on the Fair Housing Futures board, said: “With social and council housing becoming increasingly oversubscribed, more people are often being forced into the private rented sector. Whilst for most this is a good alternative, a small minority of unscrupulous landlords are exploiting vulnerable tenants and dragging down whole communities through mismanagement and negligence.

“In Greater Manchester we’re working to fix this, to ensure everyone has a decent, secure and safe home. Through our work on the private rented sector we’ll be supporting tenants, recognising good landlords and using all the powers and legislation at our disposal to make sure that unscrupulous landlords are forced out of our communities for good.

“Shelter’s Fair Housing Futures programme and grant funding will help us make sure the private rented sector in Greater Manchester works for all our communities and neighbourhoods – landlords and tenants together.”

Leigh Pearce, Chief Executive of the Nationwide Foundation, said: “The private rented sector has changed massively in recent years and needs to undergo significant redesign. It’s only right that we should make rented homes places where tenants are treated with respect and can truly feel happy and settled.

“This work will help tenants who are struggling with affordability and trapped in poor quality rented homes. The fund will test solutions to challenges faced by vulnerable, disadvantaged and low-income tenants in the private rented sector in Greater Manchester. Because the fund is not constrained by statutory obligations, it can be used creatively, and we look forward to seeing some innovative and smart ideas come through.

“We’ve chosen this mayoral authority to work in as we see enormous appetite for modernisation of housing policy and practice in Greater Manchester. However, the fears and struggles facing tenants in Greater Manchester are sadly not unique, and we hope that the successes here will eventually trail-blaze vital improvements to the private rented sector right across the UK.”

Organisations applying for funding must either be based in Greater Manchester or have a partner applicant who is based in Greater Manchester.

Case Study:

Selina used to run a successful Manchester sandwich business, but when it folded due to late payments by the companies she supplied, she was soon tipped into sofa-surfing and homelessness. After applying as homeless to the council, she was placed in “temporary” accommodation – where she’s now been for 24 months.

“When I first declared myself homeless the council put me in a hotel for a week, then I went to women’s council hostel for a month, then I went into their sister hostel for 3 months, and then I came here to another temporary flat.  I’m in rent arrears from my previous place, because I got behind on my rent. But that means I can’t yet get on Manchester Move, to apply for social housing, and I’m trapped.

“Knowing what I know about private renting, I probably wouldn’t choose it. It’s unreliable, and for some landlords, it’s just like a meat market isn’t it?

“One big problem here is having storage heaters, because they’re so expensive. For someone with not a lot of money, you have two options, you either sit in the cold, or you spend a fortune on heating. My heating would cost more than £120 per month.

“I think what’s happened is the homelessness issue just went ‘boom’ and spiralled out of control and became unmanageable. So many people are just getting shoved into places without them being inspected, because there’s no housing. We just need more housing, and I feel our problems as private renters are just being painted over.”



Comments

Old Mrs Landlord

17:15 PM, 13th May 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 13/05/2019 - 16:00
The detail I found most interesting about her tale of woe is that the council are providing her with ad hoc temporary accommodation but are not prepared to put her on the register for permanent social housing because she has not been paying her rent. However she, and the group using her as an example of how hard done by private tenants are, have no compunction about blaming the landlord she defrauded. The taxpayer-subsidised social sector aren't prepared to house her yet, with breathtaking irony, they have the gall to criticise private landlords for not subsidising her out of their own pockets.

Rod

17:43 PM, 13th May 2019
About 3 months ago

I've said many times - L/Ls as the lowest of the low! I've also said many times "benefit paid to tenant = not paid on to LL = eviction = homeless" but no body ever mentions this! I've already sent my protest to Shelter. The housing benefit bill is around £20 billion a year so throwing a few million at the problem is nothing compared to the savings on the homeless ! The word 'scapegoat ' comes to mind!

LANDLORD 35

10:45 AM, 15th May 2019
About 3 months ago

A quick look at the Fair Housing Futures Board shows that
JOHN STEWART, POLICY MANAGER, RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS
ASSOCIATION (RLA) is a board member, working along with
JOHN RYAN, HUB MANAGER, SHELTER.

Old Mrs Landlord

13:10 PM, 15th May 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by LANDLORD 35 at 15/05/2019 - 10:45
Well, at least there is someone there to put the landlords' point of view and no doubt they support the aim to rid the city of unscrupulous private landlords. I also note that the Shelter representative says that the lack of social provision is what is forcing the vulnerable to look to private landlords for a roof over their heads. He has hit the nail on the head. This is not the demographic that private renting is intended to cater for (although I know there are one or two who specialise in this area and are set up to cope).

Antony Wood

13:13 PM, 20th May 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 13/05/2019 - 14:55
Common sense at last

Kathy Evans

12:16 PM, 21st May 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rod at 13/05/2019 - 17:43
Pfft! It should be "benefit paid to tenant = not paid on to LL = eviction = prison for benefit fraud"

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