Crawley landlords urged to help young people who face homelessness

Landlords in Crawley are being urged to help young people who have faced homelessness into the private rental sector by End Youth Homelessness (EYH) and Yorkshire Building Society.

EYH is a movement of grassroots charities, including The Amber Foundation in Crawley, which work to end youth homelessness.

Sarah Johnson, operations manager for The Amber Foundation

Sarah Johnson, operations manager for The Amber Foundation

A spokesman said: “High rents and upfront costs can make it difficult for those on low incomes to access private rented accommodation, with the costs of starting a tenancy running into thousands of pounds.

“EYH has been working in partnership with Yorkshire Building Society to help homeless young people across the UK live independently.”

The Rent Deposit Scheme is a joint project that is paid for through the charity partnership between Yorkshire Building Society and administered by EYH, and helps private landlords to fill vacant properties quickly and free of charge.

To date the scheme has been able to support more than 200 young people into their own rented homes.

An estimated 103,000 young people in the UK are homeless or at risk of homelessness. And 59 young people in Crawley received some homelessness support from their local authority in 2017/18, according to Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank.

Sarah Johnson, operations manager for The Amber Foundation, said: “Our Rent Deposit Scheme helps young people across Crawley who have faced homelessness and are now ready to live independently to gain access to the private rented sector.

“We provide landlords with the cash deposit to protect them from rent arrears and damage to the property.

“Young people accepted on this scheme are in, or about to enter, education, employment or training.

“Also, they will have demonstrated the ability to save for their own deposit over an agreed period of time, maintain the conditions of their tenancy, respect their neighbours, and work with ourselves to make their tenancy a lasting success.”

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Each year, EYH charities provide over 30,000 homeless young people with the accommodation and support they need to fulfil their potential.

Private landlords’ mortgage and insurance conditions can prohibit people on benefits from accessing tenancies. However a recent survey of private landlords found that only 21 per cent would be willing to let to a young person moving on from homelessness accommodation, according to a YouGov online survey of 1,054 private landlords across Britain in August 2018.

Yorkshire Building Society has updated its mortgage terms for landlords to enable them to offer tenancies to renters who receive benefits, such as former homeless young people.

Sasha Pauley, charitypartnership manager for Yorkshire Building Society, said: “We’re pleased to confirm that landlords with any of our buy-to-let mortgages can offer tenancies to renters who receive state benefits.

“We are committed to providing people with a home of their own, including those who rent a property as well as buying one, because we believe that to build a successful future everyone needs a safe place to call home.

“The change last year to our letting requirements improves rental opportunities for a wider range of people searching for a home, and also increases the choice of potential tenants for landlords. It builds on the work we are doing with End Youth Homelessness, which will provide practical help to homeless young people across the UK who are ready to live independently.”

If you are a landlord interested in helping young people in Crawley who have faced homelessness, e-mail sarah.johnson@amberweb.org