Letting agencies and landlords are being invited by a local council to take part in what it describes as a “risk free” initiative to reduce homelessness.
Cambridge council will guarantee monthly rent payments to agents or landlords for up to a year on one-bed and studio properties: it says this could provide some financial security to the rental sector, as well as providing vulnerable residents with the security of a long-term home.
The council is now looking for 20 studio and one-beds in Cambridge, or in locations within easy reach of the city by public transport.
The properties will be occupied by people leaving accommodation which was provided at the start of the pandemic, or by people who have been in supported accommodation and are ready to move on. Anyone accessing accommodation will be assessed to ensure they can manage their tenancy.
The offer includes what the council calls “an extensive deposit bond” covering the landlord in the event of damage to their property.
It will also include a dedicated support worker for each person moving into the accommodation. Support will vary depending on the individual, but may include help settling in, setting up payments, accessing local services and building positive relationships within the community.
The money to support the 20 tenancies will largely be funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - it's given £95,683 from the government’s Next Steps fund - plus some additional council funding.
A Cambridge city council spokesman says: “In these uncertain times landlords with suitable properties could really benefit from having a guaranteed income so I would urge property owners to get in touch with us to discuss this scheme.”