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CALL FOR LANDLORDS IN HORSHAM TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE FACED HOMELESSNESS

Landlords in Horsham are being urged to help young people who have faced homelessness into the private rental sector by End Youth Homelessness (EYH) and Yorkshire Building Society.

EYH is a movement of grassroots charities, including The Amber Foundation in Horsham, who work together at a local level to end youth homelessness on a national scale.

High rents and upfront costs can make it difficult for those on low incomes to access private rented accommodation, with the costs of starting a tenancy running into thousands of pounds.

EYH has been working in partnership with Yorkshire Building Society to help homeless young people across the UK live independently.

The Rent Deposit Scheme is a joint project that is paid for through the charity partnership between Yorkshire Building Society and administered by EYH, and helps private landlords to fill vacant properties quickly and free of charge. To date the scheme has been able to support over 200 young people into their own rented homes.

An estimated 103,000 young people in the UK are homeless or at risk of homelessness and, according to latest figures, 39 young people in Horsham received some homelessness support from their local authority in 2017/18.*

Sarah Johnson, Operations Manager for The Amber Foundation, said: “Our Rent Deposit Scheme helps young people across Horsham who have faced homelessness and are now ready to live independently to gain access to the private rented sector. We provide landlords with the cash deposit to protect them from rent arrears and damage to the property.

“Young people accepted on this scheme are in, or about to enter, education, employment or training. Also, they will have demonstrated the ability to save for their own deposit over an agreed period of time, maintain the conditions of their tenancy, respect their neighbours, and work with ourselves to make their tenancy a lasting success.”

Each year, EYH charities provide over 30,000 homeless young people with the accommodation and support they need to fulfil their potential.

Private landlords’ mortgage and insurance conditions can prohibit people on benefits from accessing tenancies – however a recent survey of private landlords found that only 21 per cent would be willing to let to a young person moving on from homelessness accommodation.**

As well as funding the Rent Deposit Scheme, Yorkshire Building Society has updated its mortgage terms for landlords to enable them to offer tenancies to renters who receive benefits, such as former homeless young people.

Sasha Pauley, Charity Partnership Manager for Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that landlords with any of our buy-to-let mortgages can offer tenancies to renters who receive state benefits.

“We are committed to providing people with a home of their own, including those who rent a property as well as buying one, because we believe that to build a successful future everyone needs a safe place to call home.

“The change last year to our letting requirements improves rental opportunities for a wider range of people searching for a home, and also increases the choice of potential tenants for landlords. It builds on the work we are doing with End Youth Homelessness, which will provide practical help to homeless young people across the UK who are ready to live independently.”

Through the partnership, the Society aims to raise £750,000 to support homeless young people into their own rented homes.

Benefits to landlords: EYH charities have a list of potential and suitable tenants, so you can fill vacancies quickly and free of charge; Every tenant is provided with support for paying bills, maintaining the tenancy and effectively saving towards their own deposit; Every tenant is given a move-in grant, to help furnish their home; Supports a young person in need of housing to make an independent start in life.

To be eligible for the scheme, landlords must: Ensure all properties meet basic safety requirements; Be willing to let properties to young people receiving benefits or on low income; Work with your EYH charity to resolve any problems that may arise; Inform your EYH charity before taking any action to end a tenancy; Provide evidence of buy to let or mortgage free status.

If you are a landlord interested in helping young people in Horsham who have faced homelessness please e-mail sarah.johnson@amberweb.org

*Source: Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank – www.yhdatabank.com

**Source: YouGov conducted an online survey of 1,054 private landlords across Britain on behalf of Centrepoint in August 2018. – https://centrepoint.org.uk/media/3048/ready-to-move-on.pdf

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