Councils secure £194,000 to assist in private sector renting

Hart District Council has led on a bid to secure £194,000 worth of central government funding to be used to assist residents in Hart and Basingstoke with their housing needs.

The funding, provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, will be used across both areas and aims to help around 80 households move into the private sector. Incentives will be offered to landlords who work with both councils to offer rent top ups where Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates fall short.

Hart District Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have worked in partnership to deliver a scheme that will build on high quality core services and innovative approaches to service delivery.  

Cllr Stuart Bailey, Cabinet Member for Housing at Hart District Council, said: “I’m delighted that this bid has been successful. We are confident that we can offer an enhanced level of support to tenants that will be housed through these newly acquired Private Rented Sector options. This will result in decreasing the use of temporary accommodation and increasing the sustainability of tenancies. 

“We believe strongly that our approach of delivering homes specially designed to support single homeless people, as well as those with complex needs, will allow us to successfully deliver this scheme and make a significant contribution to ending homelessness across both local authorities.

“This scheme is just one of a range of excellent prevention projects that the Housing Services team are undertaking and I thank all officers involved for their hard work in getting this scheme off the ground.”

Both authorities currently operate within challenging private rented markets where there is a huge disparity between the LHA and the market rent for all types of accommodation. There is also a lack of affordable accommodation for single people. As part of this bid, being able to acquire Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) accommodation will assist with creating a pathway for single homeless people. In order to compete in the private rented market it is important to be able to enhance both council’s offering to landlords, to ensure that they retain current landlords as well as obtain new ones. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Terri Reid said: “This funding is great news for our residents looking to find a home but struggling to meet the costs of private renting. We are working really hard to provide opportunities for housing to all of our residents be it through our homelessness work to help get people off the streets, providing access to rented accommodation both through the private sector or housing associations, or opportunities for low cost home ownership. This funding from government has been achieved by working together with Hart District Council to maximise the resources and opportunities for our residents and to avoid the use of bed and breakfast. It will help to provide personalised support to our residents and to help make private rented accommodation more affordable. It will also be used to work with landlords to keep private rented homes and to find new private landlords.”

For more information about housing services in Hart please visit www.hart.gov.uk/housing or for information about services in Basingstoke please visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/housing-advice.

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