Housing scheme proves a hit with tenants and landlords
Published on 26th March 2012
A scheme run by Sandwell Council to house people at risk of homelessness is proving popular with tenants and landlords.
Launched in January this year, the Private Sector Leasing scheme involves the council leasing good quality homes from private landlords on a two-year lease.
The council then uses the homes to house people who would otherwise become homeless, with the properties managed by Sandwell Homes.
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for housing, who introduced the scheme, said: "I am delighted with the way it is working.
"I fully expect to reach the initial target of 50 properties well within the first year of the leasing scheme, which will put us in a good position to continue the scheme in future years.
"By insisting that the properties are up to a decent standard we are making sure these families have safe, secure homes to live in.
"The leasing scheme has also encouraged the owners of a number of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use by leasing them to the council. One of these was a former cannabis factory which I am pleased to say has been brought back into its proper use as a family home."
New tenant Nicola Hadley, who is renting under the scheme in Coles Lane, Wednesbury, said: "I love living here. Before this we lived in another privately rented house but it wasn't maintained very well and then the landlord needed to sell the property.
"When we were first offered this house we were a bit concerned because of the bad experience we'd had with private renting. But when we realised Sandwell Homes would be managing the property we knew it would be okay.
"Then when we saw the house we were delighted with it. Not only is it a good house, it's also close to the school. We have settled in really well and it already feels like home."
Councillor Hackett added: "As well as Ms Hadley's family, we have also housed families who were living in bed and breakfast hostels and a family who became homeless when they lost their army accommodation."
If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme, please contact Liz Mooney on 0121 569 5256 for an information pack or an informal chat.