Welsh government to encourage PRS to lease to local authorities to prevent homelessness

Welsh government to encourage PRS to lease to local authorities to prevent homelessness

10:25 AM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago 8

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The Welsh Government will announce a new £30million funding pot over five years for local authorities. Under the Private Rented Sector Leasing Scheme, private property owners will be encouraged to lease their properties to local authorities in return for a rent guarantee and additional funding to improve the condition of their property.

Local authorities can then use these properties to provide affordable and good quality homes for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Tenants will benefit from the security of long-term tenures of between five and 20 years and help to maintain their stay in a long-term home, such as mental health support or debt and money management advice.

The Homelessness Action Plan builds on the unprecedented work undertaken by local authorities, social landlords, public services and third sector partners, who have provided accommodation and support for more than 15,000 people experiencing or threatened with homelessness during the pandemic.

The Plan has been shaped by the recommendations of the independent expert Homelessness Action Group, reflecting the changes required to prevent homelessness and make the shift to rapid rehousing so that people are in temporary accommodation for the shortest possible time.

The plan makes clear the need to prevent the problems that lead to homelessness from happening in the first place so homelessness can finally be ended in Wales.

The causes of homelessness extend well beyond access and availability of affordable homes. Ending homelessness is a cross-sector, cross-government priority relevant to health, social services, education, criminal justice, community services and our wider economy.

All this is recognised within the Action Plan, as is the need for wide-reaching legislative and policy reform.

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Neil Patterson

10:27 AM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago

However, most mortgage lenders will not allow a lease of 5 years, let alone 20.

Robert M

11:29 AM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Nothing new here. Private sector leasing schemes have been tried several times over several decades, by both local authorities and housing associations.

These schemes have had different names, (anyone in social housing remember HALS?) but they never really took off in a big way, despite being a good idea in theory. I recall writing a proposal for such a scheme back in 2005 when I worked in a local authority homelessness department, but it was rejected by senior management so never went any further in that LA.

The general failings of these schemes, in the past, have tended to be the bureaucracy involved, and the LA (or HA) trying to reduce the rent paid to the private landlord to below the LHA level (supposedly to cover the running costs of the scheme). This combined with the PRS landlord still being liable for many repairs which they assumed the LA would be responsible for, meant that the schemes were not quite attractive enough to the PRS landlords. - Maybe the new Welsh scheme will be more attractive to private landlords.

Luke P

11:30 AM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Welsh landlords to encourage government to understand the industry and be realistic in their expectations by FULLY underwriting their obligation to house the most vulnerable and high-risk tenants.

Luke P

12:18 PM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 30/11/2021 - 10:27
I managed to get lender approval for 10-year leases to the LA over a decade ago, but at the eleventh hour the Council backed out because their gut reaction was they'd be 'too exposed' (to repair bills). I could've single-handedly solved the local homelessness problem as, had it gone ahead as expected, would have made 350 properties available to them on 10-year deals.

Michael Johnson - Amzac Estates

16:45 PM, 30th November 2021, About 2 years ago

This is the same Welsh Government that is getting into bed with the anti private landlord party that is Plaid Cymru who are proposing further taxes on 2nd homes and rent controls. Why would we trust the local authority to get into a business partnership with?

Mick Roberts

12:33 PM, 2nd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Why not just cut off & stop bringing in ALL the retrospective legislative punitive Anti-Landlord policies in the first place which is why we're where we are, where Benefit tenants can't get a house any more.
It really is simple.
Stop Selective Licensing.
UC direct payment to Landlords.
All the other tripe.
And then we may not have to pay the colossal cost of this homelessness & reduce the £6 billion pound error in DWP overpayments at the same time.

bob the builder

17:31 PM, 7th December 2021, About 2 years ago


Steve B

15:11 PM, 8th December 2021, About 2 years ago

I let my own main residence whilst serving overseas on a two year posting. When we came back, the DSS tenant did a 'moonlight flit' half expecting us to want early possession. Being on a payment gas meter, the CH stalled once the gas ran out and one frozen burst pipe and hours later we had lost 3 ceilings and half a downstairs wall (plaster). It THEN took said housing association 6 weeks to send anyone in to survey for THEIR insurance and another 2 weeks before they put a dehumidifier in the house. To top it all off I got a nice letter from the water company reminding me not to waste water! ... not for me I am afraid. Once you let to council you lose all control over tenant vetting and who's going to serve the notice to quit once the tenant turns bad? Be warned!

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