Homeless families need decent rented accommodation
Crisis has set out its recommendations for rented accommodation offered to homeless families forced into the private rented sector.
Crisis opposed moves to allow local authorities to place statutorily homeless households into private rented accommodation without their consent. However in response to a Government consultation, Crisis has set out that if councils do use this power then properties must be:
- In a suitable location - Changes to the way Housing Benefit is calculated will make it more difficult to secure accommodation for homeless households within boroughs with high rental costs. There have already been worrying reports of London boroughs seeking to place homeless families as far away as Stoke-on-Trent.
- At an affordable level of rent – Crisis is concerned that local authorities may place homeless households in properties where the rent is not completely covered by Housing Benefit. This will mean people will have to make up any shortfall from other sources of income or risk falling into rent arrears, with the possibility of repeat homelessness.
- With appropriate support – it is crucial that appropriate support is available to homeless households. It will be very important for local authorities to look at the work being done by PRS access schemes in supporting homeless households into PRS accommodation.