Published Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Coventry City Council’s Housing and Homeless Team has been helping dozens of families move out of temporary housing into more permanent private rented homes at a reasonable cost.
And the work is paying off.
The rent guarantee scheme encourages private landlords to provide a tenancy at an affordable price and matches potential tenants, with landlords who have properties to let.
Shannon Darcy-Bromell, accommodation officer in the Council’s Housing and Homeless Team has been involved in the scheme – called Let’s Rent Coventry – since it launched in May 2020.
Shannon said: “Once we help a customer find a new home, they are often relieved that they have found a home that is safe, comfortable and affordable.
“It’s very satisfying, because some families have been homeless or have been in temporary accommodation and want to start planning for the future. Being in a home that feels more permanent makes a big difference.”
Two customers who can reflect on the benefits of the housing scheme have told housing officers how grateful they are.
Hidar Osman said that when his family came to the UK they were stuck, afraid and lost.
He added: “I was worried that my wife and children would potentially be street homeless.
“But from the Council and Salvation Army to other agencies I never expected this much support could be provided and I am truly grateful for what each worker has done to support his family.
“The officers are all amazing people and the support provided is the best I have ever experienced.”
Miss Quiarna Brewster, who was also helped through the scheme, said: “Let’s Rent Coventry has worked so well for me! It’s allowed me to find a lovely new home but one that is actually affordable!
“As I wasn’t on the top of the priority list due to my income, I thought I’d be waiting for a home forever.
“Being stuck in the band that earns a somewhat liveable wage, but not enough to rent a full price property and support my family alone, I thought it would be impossible to find housing.
“It’s given me access to an affordable, comfortable and safe home.”
The Council are keen to sign up more private landlords. Landlords can sign up to Let’s Rent Coventry for either 12 to 24 months, and the Local Authority will match tenants to ensure they are suitable for the scheme. The landlords can also benefit from a deposit covering up to five weeks rent.
The scheme has housed 55 families, all the local housing allowance rates since its launch in May 2020 with numerous landlords have signed up to the scheme.
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “I’m delighted that together with private landlords we have been able to help. To hear first-hand how it’s improved peoples’ wellbeing is so reassuring.
“While we have a national housing crisis it can be a challenging environment to work in but it is satisfying to know that we have a determined and committed team working to make a difference to people’s lives.”
For landlords to be involved in the scheme it doesn’t matter whether properties are furnished or unfurnished. Properties will be inspected and checked so that landlords have up-to-date safety features and relevant certification for their properties.
As part of the scheme checks are made before lettings to identify suitable tenants and suitable landlords so that standards can be monitored and maintained.
A signed rent guarantee agreement is made between the Council and landlord.
The Council are looking for one to five-bedroom properties throughout the city and have a number of suitable families ready to move into a new home.
If you are a landlord and interested in Let’s Rent Coventry, please contact [email protected] for further information about the scheme or how you can get involved.
For further details visit Let’s Rent Coventry.