Gloucester is currently faced with a shortage of social housing for the homeless. In 2017, only 63 affordable homes were developed, which is quite a low number when compared to the demand of 3,979 applicants for housing.
A report to be presented to Gloucester cabinet meeting on November 7 identifies that the previous dependence on accommodation hotels would not suffice for the city’s long term goals. Not only are accommodation hotels a temporary solution, they tend to be “costly and unsustainable”. Only last week, the Local Democracy Reporting Service discovered that the council spent £712,985 on emergency accommodation for the homeless in 2017, while the amount spent between 2014 – 2015 was £170,322.
The City Council has been brainstorming on ideas to solve the problem and plans are currently being developed to tackle this social problem.
A possible solution being proposed is to partner with landlords to provide homes for the people who cannot afford rent. Gloucester council is willing to offer attractive cash incentives to landlords that will open their door to the homeless.
There are three options being considered in this approach; the Finder’s fee whereby landlords will be offered a one-off “finder’s fee” based on the size of their property. The fee can range from £100 for a studio to about £500 for a four bed.
Another option is the Landlord Bond where the deposit is held in a protected bond fund. The report stated: “In cases where a tenancy has been managed successfully, the local authority never releases any funds. If there is call on the deposit, the tenant will then be ‘recharged’ the equivalent amount that has been charged to the local authority”.
The third option is to “Bridge the market rate”. In cases where the rent is higher than the allowance given to a tenant, the council will step in to bridge the gap by offering the landlord an average market rate.
The Gloucester City Council report stated that “The main reasons for the recommendations are associated with the desire to avoid single people, couples and families unnecessary long periods in short term hotel/bed and breakfast [email protected]