NLA responds to launch of Private Rented Sector Access Fund
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP today launched the Private Rented Sector Access Fund with the aim of helping up to 9,000 people who are or are at risk of becoming homeless secure a place to live.
Local authorities will have to bid for a portion of the £20 million available in the fund to provide financial support to help those in need access or maintain their tenancies. Up to £5 million is available in the 2018/19 financial year, with the remaining £15 million available in the 2019/20 financial year.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), says:
“While we welcome any assistance the Government can provide those in need of a home, this hardly addresses the cause of the housing crisis. More social housing needs to be built for those who are unable to access or maintain a tenancy in the private rented sector (PRS).
“The PRS is already picking up the slack by providing homes to people who would be better suited to social housing. Landlords are struggling to cover their overheads as housing benefit rates remain frozen well below the cost of renting.
“We also have concerns regarding the bidding war that councils must undertake to access the funding. It would make more sense for the Government to use their own statistics to allocate funding to where it’s needed most.
“This is just another example of the Government making a quick fix to appear as if they’re doing something. There are over 13,000 statutorily homeless households and nearly 80,000 household in temporary accommodation. Supporting 9,000 people doesn’t go far enough.”