The private rental sector in Wales could be offered incentives and other support to house those most in need, the Welsh housing minister says.
Rebecca Evans has told the Residential Landlords Association that she recognises there are “increased” risks around tenants in receipt of benefits, due to benefits not meeting market rents.
She says she also recognises concerns about rent payments not being met in full and on time.
“Let me be clear, I want to find ways to eradicate the ‘no DSS’ barrier. Poverty should not be allowed to be the basis for discrimination” she says.
“I want to see the Welsh Government do more to support landlords who are willing to widen access by providing security of income, protecting against voids and losses and ensuring support for tenants during the duration of their agreement - and helping to improve the standard of the property they are renting.”
In return she said landlords would be expected to offer longer leases to tenants on benefits and low-income families.
“We are currently working on an exciting proposal to make an attractive offer of this type and it is one I want to move forward on at pace. These are exciting times for housing in Wales.”
Research by Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with RLA research arm PEARL, has found that changes to the benefits system have led to an increase in homelessness from rented housing, and that more needs to be done to tackle the issue.