Southend Council calls on private landlords in bid to end rough sleeping in borough

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Southend Council is calling on private landlords to consider letting their properties to some of the rough sleepers temporarily housed in hotels and B&Bs during the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

Following one-to-one support from council services, those previously affected by homelessness are now said to be ready for long-term, stable homes.

In the long-term the council is looking to increase the social housing available. However, to get these individuals housed quickly, it is asking private property landlords to help in the council’s bid to end homelessness in Southend..

Support will be available for each landlord, and will include:

Initial rent and deposit paid direct by the council up front

A dedicated council officer to call should landlords wish to discuss any issues with the tenancy

Knowledge that the council will be ensuring support is provided to the tenant

Being able to discuss additional incentives.

Landlords wishing to be a part of ending homelessness in this way should call the housing solutions team on 01702 215002, email [email protected] or fill in the form on the council website www.southend.gov.uk/privatelandlords.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council with responsibility for housing, said: “We already knew and worked with rough sleepers in the borough individually, and offered a wide range of support on a regular basis.

“Coronavirus posed a high risk to these vulnerable people. We worked swiftly with our partners including HARP, Clinical Commissioning, STARS and the voluntary sector to house every person temporarily, and have since been driven to ensure that many are ready to move in to rental properties and make them their homes in the long term.

“We would be grateful to landlords who would like to join us to help end homelessness in Southend-on-Sea for good, and are offering up-front rent and deposit payments and a dedicated council officer who you can reach directly to discuss any issues with the tenancy.

“Of course we will continue to support each tenant and help them where necessary in managing their finances and other areas of their life, so their new rental property can become a long-term home.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]