North Somerset Council and landlords team up to introduce new scheme for families on benefits

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 September 2017

Homeless Woman

Homeless Woman

Archant

Lower income families and individuals will be able to secure private rented accommodation with the help of local landlords.

The new scheme will help prevent homelessness.The new scheme will help prevent homelessness.

A new scheme will aim to prevent homelessness in North Somerset by offering more support to people who claim benefits.

Since the introduction of Universal Credit – which will see claimers receive one direct monthly sum – people have been finding it harder to rent privately.

Before Universal Credit was introduced, money for rent was transferred directly to the landlords.

Now an increasing number of landlords said they would no longer accept people on Universal Credit as many feared they would not receive the monthly rent, leaving tenants struggling to find somewhere to live.

It may become even harder for the council to find homes for people on the edge of homelessness.It may become even harder for the council to find homes for people on the edge of homelessness.

North Somerset Council and landlords in the area have now teamed up to help people who claim benefits access affordable housing.

The Ark Passport Scheme will allow tenants to separate and prioritise payments so landlords know they will be paid the monthly rent.

The introduction of the new scheme will encourage private landlords to accept people on benefits and reduce the homelessness crisis.

Executive council member for housing Cllr Elfan Ap Rees said: “We have been looking for a long term and sustainable solution to increase the supply of residential properties from within the private rented sector in North Somerset, to continue to effectively tackle the issue of homelessness prevention.

“Working in collaboration with The Ark Passport scheme, we hope to alleviate the financial concerns faced by landlords when accepting tenants who are in receipt of housing benefit and Universal Credit.

“They will also have the backing and support of the council’s housing resource team which has dedicated officers to assist both landlords and tenants throughout the tenancy.”

The Ark will be a welcome edition when the Government’s £61million Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force in April next year.

The bill will place a legal duty on council to give people meaningful support to try to resolve homelessness.

A recent count completed by the council found only three people sleeping rough.

However homeless charity Somewhere To Go has as many as 50 people using its services in a day, with 17 people describing themselves as rough-sleepers and as sofa surfers.

A free seminar on The Ark Passport will be held for private landlords and letting agents today (Wednesday) from 6-8pm at Weston Museum, in Burlington Street.

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 19:41

Police have cordoned off Worle Railway Station for an ongoing police incident this evening (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Fans of Abba and Grease can enjoy two hours of their greatest hits at The Playhouse on November 29.

Read more
The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:57

Life satisfaction and happiness levels have dropped in North Somerset in the past year, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

A ‘spectacular’ firework display will take place on Marine Parade on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:14

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has reassured people a teenager did not die in Worle last night (Wednesday) after rumours circulated on social media.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:04

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch and ‘night glow’ which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:58

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

An accident involving two cars in Worle has resulted in slow moving traffic this morning (Thursday).

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists