Slough looks to protect housing supply

Slough Borough Council is offering private landlords incentives to join its new social lettings scheme, which has been set up to help meet the demand for housing in the borough and counter the effect of London Boroughs rehousing their homeless there.

Landlords who sign up can choose to receive a one-off payment equivalent to one month’s rent or enter an agreement where the council guarantees to pay up to a set amount for any damages caused during the tenancy.

The council will also find tenants and provide support to landlords, including help resolving rent and housing benefit issues.

Slough Council say one of their main priorities for the next five years is tackling the growing demand for housing.

As well as building new homes and making best use of existing ones, the council wants to work more closely with landlords to use private properties for families who are in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation or aren’t eligible for council housing but are still entitled to the council’s help.

Jeremy Walter, housing supply manager, said: “A lot of the demand for housing comes from London boroughs, who are working with Slough landlords to re-house homeless families from places like Hounslow and Ealing.

“We want those homes to go to Slough families and are keen to build closer relationships with landlords to make that happen.

“By working with us, landlords will have the benefits of our expertise, accessibility and local knowledge, as well as the satisfaction of knowing they’re helping families in their own community.”

The housing supply team has written to 700 landlords to publicise the scheme and is planning on extending the offer to council leaseholders later in the year.

An arrangement has also been struck whereby landlords can lease their properties directly to Paradigm Housing, who will accept tenants from the council.

The housing association will pay a guaranteed rent, as well as manage properties on behalf of landlords.

James Swindlehurst, deputy leader and commissioner for neighbourhoods and renewal, said: “Affordable private rental properties are scarce across the country, not just in Slough.

“By making sure the ones that are available go to Slough people, it will mean less local families in unsuitable accommodation and less pressure on the public purse.

“Good quality housing is one of the foundations of leading a happy, healthy life, and our ultimate goal is to make sure every family has that opportunity.”

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