A lettings agency which describes itself as “ethical” has been honoured with an award linked to the United Nations.
Homes For Good is Glasgow-based and buys neglected homes and renovates them, then lets them to people on low incomes. It has helped hundreds of people on low incomes or at immediate risk of homelessness live somewhere affordable and good quality.
The World Habitat Awards - organised by World Habitat in partnership with UN-Habitat - recognise and highlight “innovative, outstanding and revolutionary housing ideas, projects and programmes from across the world.”
As a result of winning the Gold award, Homes For Good will receive £10,000.
Homes For Good was founded in 2013 to support people on low incomes to access quality homes in the private rental sector.
It has since raised £20m in social investment and has bought and developed more than 330 homes. It also manages a further 220 homes, working with 130 landlords and 800 tenants overall,.
In addition to homes being renovated, Homes For Good also offers an interior designer working with tenants. The agency also engages with tenants on issues wider than housing and includes a programme of activities to improve wellbeing, reduce isolation and the opportunity to develop new skills.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director at UN-Habitat, says: “With housing and living costs rising globally and increased risk for many to fall into homelessness and informality, we are more convinced than ever that ensuring adequate housing must be understood as a shared responsibility of all housing stakeholders.
“In the case of Homes for Good, we appreciate the full role of the private sector stepping up to provide affordable housing to low-income people, embracing housing in its social function and human rights status. Further, the partnership with specialised organisations ensures that people are put at the centre of each step of the process.”
And Susan Aktemel, founder of Homes for Good, adds: “We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to win this global award. Developing a new approach and business model to raise standards in the private rented sector has taken a huge amount of work and determination since we started in 2013. As we reach our 10th birthday, we still have significant work to do, and winning the Gold Habitat Award is a huge endorsement and motivator for us to keep going.”