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Help to Rent schemes debated by MPs

MPs have debated schemes to help unlock private renting for homeless people, proposed by the national homelessness charity Crisis and the National Landlords Association (NLA).

MPs have debated schemes to help unlock private renting for homeless people, proposed by the national homelessness charity Crisis and the National Landlords Association (NLA).

Richard Benyon MP led a debate titled ‘Private Renting Solutions for Homeless and Vulnerable people’ on Wednesday 8 February at Westminster Hall. MPs heard how Help to Rent schemes can not only ‘change homeless people’s lives’ but also save the Government money.

 Crisis, in partnership with the NLA, is urging the Government to fund these schemes to help both landlords and tenants with a history of homelessness, whether that be financial support with deposits or rent in advance, or ongoing tenancy support. Homeless people get a place to live, while landlords are guaranteed tenants and rental income.

Describing the projects as a ‘viable business model for landlords’ Benyon referenced Crisis’ research which suggests Help to Rent could end homelessness for good. Benyon said the projects would help eliminate bad practise and support vulnerable people to navigate a complex system while upholding the Government’s agenda to help those ‘just about managing’ to sustain lengthy tenancies.

Concerns around finding accommodation for refugees were raised by David Burrowes MP while Daniel Poulter MP spoke of the difficulties for people with mental illness in securing accommodation. Siobhain McDonagh MP discussed the impact of Universal Credit and the nine-week wait for payment and Jim Shannon MP highlighted how changes within the benefits system could impact vulnerable people.

 

As well as calling for funding for these Help to Rent schemes, Crisis is proposing a Government funded National Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme. This would provide Help to Rent projects with greater financial security, with landlords safe in the knowledge their property is protected and that the help to rent projects are providing the right support to help tenants maintain rent.

Help to Rent schemes form part of Crisis’ Home: No Less Will Do campaign.

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