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Shelter launches £600k fund to find solutions to PRS problems

Housing charity Shelter has announced the launch of a £600,000 fund it is hosting, with the aim of improving the private rental sector (PRS) in Manchester.

The money is being provided by the Nationwide Foundation and is part of the £1.2 million Fair Housing Futures project, which aims to help Manchester's vulnerable tenants.

The scheme is calling for local organisations such as tenant groups and housing associations to showcase their ideas in order to receive funding from the £600,000 grant.

"This 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," says Shelter's Roli Barker, project manager for Fair Housing Futures.

"We want to leave a legacy of practical solutions, that make access to housing not only easier, but fairer."

Barker says that a lack of social housing in Manchester has pushed more people into 'unstable private rentals'.

Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor and Greater Manchester’s lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, and who sits on the Fair Housing Futures board, comments: "Whilst for most [the PRS] 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 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."

Leigh Pearce, chief executive of the Nationwide Foundation, adds: "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." 

"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."

She says she hopes that successes in Manchester will eventually 'trailblaze vital improvements' to the PRS across the UK.

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

  • jeremy clarke

    I'll tell you for a tenner, get rid of shelter and the rest of the do Gooders, leave the agents and landlords alone and make local councils use the vast amounts of legislation that already exists! Then, make local authorities build housing instead of the hare brained schemes most waste money on.

  • Suzy OShea

    However, if the councils have grants to help improve properties and then make the landlords be prepared to take in a tenant on a lower income, that could also help some landlords to improve the quality of their stock.

  • icon

    Nothing that Shelter have done in Scotland has improved the rental market.

    You have landlords chasing their tails to comply with unnecessary legislation and tenants paying sky high rents as a result.

    Meanwhile the rogue landlords have either moved into the unregulated Airbnb sector or ignored the legislation and no enforcement action has been taken against them.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 09 May 2019 09:32 AM

    More money wasted on think tank than using it to build more homes for the homelessness

  • icon

    And in the news today those on benefits in the private sector are about £100 short of income per month and they now have a choice of rent or food. This is something landlords and agents have been banging on about for some time now. A sensible solution is easy but then common sense died many years ago.

  • Suzy OShea

    Can't see the government raising UC by £100 per month!

  • Paul Smithson

    Shelter, that’s where tenants are going to end up literally, Landlords are going to sell up, the older ones can afford to leave properties empty for a considerable time...well done muppets!

  • Paul Barrett

    For those LL that do not have a mortgage then they will change from the AST business model to things like AirBnB and other Serviced Accommodation.
    They will wish to retain control of things especially if S21 abolishment comes into the mix.
    Control is what LL want.
    Removing such control will cause LL to sell or choose different options than the AST.
    LA willĺ be dumped by these LL so LA business will suffer loss of income as a result of LL clients terminating LA contracts.
    Those mortgaged LL will game the system by dispensing with the AST business model.
    There is no way that lenders will ever find out what they are doing.
    Of course some LL may actually convert to FHL BTL mortgages.
    The point here is that the the numbers of rental properties available on an AST will be reduced.

    Shelter continues to quote oxymorons.
    The latest being the ridiculous suggestion that there should be more stability in the PRS for tenants.
    By it's very nature the PRS will ALWAYS be unstable.
    Such stability as there is only comes about as a result of private LL determining to stay in the market.
    They can choose to leave anytime they like.
    Tenants surely know this.
    The only way to achieve a better degree of stability is to buy your own home!!
    Shelter simply CANNOT force LL to remain in business.
    The best way to achieve stability for tenants is to ensure that LL are allowed to charge market rents to make PROFIT.
    As long as LL can make PROFIT they will remain in the market and consequently that is de facto stability.
    When bonkers policies like S24; SDLT surcharges and potential S21 abolishment are introduced they introduce INSTABILITY!!
    To keep the market stable which is what tenants want the LL has to be incentivised to remain.
    Shelter support the bonkers S24 tax policy which is and has been the major driver for LL to downsize or sell up completely..
    There are many LL that are technically bankrupt even though they are operating currently profitable rental busines session.
    S24 will bankrupt them very shortly.
    The ones to be bankrupted sooner rather than later will be those LL who have increased the numbers of rental properties they operate by utilising leveraged borrowing on increased equity.
    They can't afford S24 taxes and they can't afford to sell because there would be insufficient sale proceeds to pay CGT.
    All this creates massive INSTABILITY for tenants.
    LL will only remain in the market providing tenure security if they can make a PROFIT.
    Profit by it's very nature provides STABILITY.
    Very few LL would choose to give up profit unless forced to.
    S24 etc is forcing profitable LL to sell up if they can.
    People should look across the Irish Sea
    and see what the Irish Govt is rapidly unwinding it's own S24 policy which failed utterly.
    It has resulted in rents increasing by 50% and homelessness as a consequence of LL abandoning the market.
    This with the Irish version of S24 NOT being retrospective!!!!!
    Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.
    Shelter should consider the Irish experience and come to the obvious realisation that S24 is a bonkers tax policy and is and has introduced INSTABILITY into the PRS!!

  • icon

    They want innovative solutions to problems in the PRS, so they ask tenant groups and Housing Associations. They don't mention asking the actual providers of the housing. Farcical. And with the usual tone of negativity around attacking landlords instead of working positively (or at all) with them.

  •  G romit

    And how much is Shelter putting in the pot? Ans. £0
    How many homes do Shleter actually provide to house the homeless? Ans. 0

    So what does the £60m+ donations/income go to well how about £700k+ to the top execs salaries.


    Hi Gromit.
    It appears to be the same way with when they use their legal advisers - it seems that they get legal aid to pay for the lawyers, despite presenting it as though they are so beneficent that they provide free legal advice. That's the way I've read it anyway.

  • Paul Barrett

    A major reason for reducing stock of rental property is S24.
    So rather than supporting the bonkers policy Shelter should be actively campaigning against it.
    Seems strange for the Socialist Shelter to want to support rich people who can afford to buy rather than the poorer tenants who can't but need LL to house them!

  • icon

    How about using £600k to build a few houses?

  • Paul Barrett

    Or it would provide some deposits which of course would never need to be used as tenants are clearly as pure as driven snow!!


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