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Cambridge City Council

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Full year's rent guaranteed for landlords offering homes to former rough sleepers

News release from 29/09/2020

LOCAL landlords and lettings agencies are being invited to take advantage of an attractive, risk-free financial offer, as part of Cambridge City Council’s response to finding long-term housing solutions for former rough sleepers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Following the award of a new grant by the government, the council will be able to guarantee monthly rent payments to landlords for up to a full year on one-bed and studio properties. 

This could provide some financial security to landlords at a time when many are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on their businesses, as well as providing vulnerable residents with the security of a long-term home.  

The council is now looking for offers of 20 studio and one-bed properties in Cambridge, or in locations which are 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.

Importantly, anyone accessing accommodation will be assessed carefully, to ensure that they are able to manage their tenancy. 

The offer to landlords includes an extensive deposit bond, covering the landlord in the event of any damage to their property. 

Crucially, 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 into the property, setting up bills, accessing local services and building positive relationships within the community.  

The money to support the 20 tenancies will largely be funded from a successful bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for £95,683 from the government’s ‘Next Steps’ fund, plus some additional council funding. 

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing said: “It’s great news that we have received this new funding from the government. 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. 

“Along with our partner organisations, we remain committed to supporting people with a history of sleeping rough as they move into safe, long-term accommodation – and the council will provide assistance to any landlords who can help us in this task.” 

The new deal for landlords complements the comprehensive package already offered by Townhall Lettings (THL), the council’s social letting agency. Since 2014, THL has been offering a nationally recognised deal for local landlords, providing a comprehensive, fee-free management service, guaranteed rents, and personalised support for both landlords and tenants.  

To take advantage of the offer, landlords or letting agents can email townhall.lettings@cambridge.gov.uk today, or call 01223 457920.