Sharing Solutions Programme

What is the Sharing Solutions programme?

The Sharing Solutions programme was initially funded by DCLG running for 18 months from October 2013 to March 2015. Eight private rented access schemes, operating in a variety of different housing markets around the country, were funded to set up and deliver projects of shared accommodation.

The aims were to increase the supply of shared housing and support the creation of sustainable shared tenancies, as well as gather learning about different models of sharing. For more information on the Sharing Solutions models and the success of the programme, see the evaluation of the programme.

Throughout the programme Crisis gathered learning and collated best practice from the schemes, culminating in the production of the sharer’s toolkit – a guide for practitioners hoping to set up a scheme for sharers, or improve their provision for those subject to the SAR. The toolkit also includes lots of useful and downloadable document templates. 

As an extension of the sharer’s toolkit, Crisis used the learning from Sharing Solutions as a basis to produce Spare to Share – a toolkit aimed at facilitating shared tenancies in the social housing sector. This toolkit is aimed to be of use to local authorities and registered social housing providers who are proposing to use, or already using, their housing stock to house sharers.

Due to the success of the Sharing Solutions programme, and following the end of the DCLG funding, Crisis continued to support to six of the original schemes for an additional year. Crisis provided match-funding to the schemes to continue to deliver their models of shared accommodation. See the highlights of the Crisis round of funding for more detail.

All six of the schemes continue to deliver their shared provision following the conclusion of the Crisis funded period at the end of March 2016. Find out more about the funded schemes here.

Why a focus on sharing?

Since welfare reform changes in 2012, Crisis private renting schemes have noted an increase in the number of people trying to access shared accommodation. This is due to changes to the shared accommodation rate (SAR) of local housing allowance (LHA):

  • Under 35 year olds receiving housing benefit are only eligible for the shared accommodation rate, which only covers a room in a shared house
  • There is often a large shortfall between SAR and market rents. Existing private rented sector access schemes have reported to Crisis that it is virtually impossible to find shared accommodation in their area
  • There are further obstacles faced by people trying to find shared accommodation such as expensive agency fees, large deposits, and landlords' reluctance to rent to sharers receiving housing benefit
  • Crisis' research showed that less than 1% of the shared rooms advertised were accessible to those receiving the SAR.

Get in touch

  • If you are a scheme working with clients trying to access shared accommodation we’d love to hear from you so please do get in touch - email private.renting@crisis.org.uk or call us on 020 7426 3882

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