Posted on Tuesday 2nd May 2017
Twenty-six homeless local families have been housed thanks to the creation of the Bournemouth Council’s Private Sector Landlord Company.
Homeless families who may have previously faced the prospect of staying in emergency temporary accommodation such as B&Bs may now be provided with a more secure option of rented accommodation through the new initiative.
Following the establishment of the Council’s Private Sector Landlord Company in 2016, 26 properties located across Bournemouth have been purchased and let by the Council to provide much needed housing for families who find themselves homeless. The Council is in the process of acquiring further properties which should be available in the Autumn, investing approximately £12m overall.
By setting up a company, it gives the Council the flexibilities of a private landlord to rent directly to people for whom the Council has a statutory homeless duty in a more cost effective and efficient way.
Mrs Anne Taylor* whose family are currently living in new rented accommodation in Kinson, said: “Due to unforeseen circumstance my family found ourselves homeless earlier this year. Thanks to the Council we have been housed through this new initiative. It’s allowed us to find our feet, to feel secure and settled and we are receiving ongoing support to help us move on to suitable longer term accommodation when our contract ends.”
Lorraine Mealings, Head of Housing and Customer, said: “Like many other councils, we are under increased pressure with reduced funding from government to meet our homeless duty to support vulnerable people in Bournemouth who find themselves without a home. The Council has introduced more innovative options in order to continue to meet this duty, and buying properties in this way enables the Council to, in effect, operate as a private landlord and rent directly to homeless people.
“It is helping us to reduce costs, for example, avoiding the use of expensive B&B accommodation. By owning the properties, it means that the Council is able to ensure the properties are good quality and well managed. In the longer-term any income generated and increase in property values will all come back to the Council to help fund additional services for vulnerable people. Following the success of this initial phase we are hoping to expand the property profile and will look to seek further funding in the near future.”
* the resident’s name has been changed to remain anonymous.