A social innovation in Croydon today (19 Aug) announced it was looking to recruit families to host those in danger of being made homeless.
FairBnB, which operates across the London Borough of Croydon, is a new initiative matching homeowners who have spare rooms with those who have fallen on hard times. It was one of several flagship policies proposed by the borough’s Opportunity & Fairness Commission report.
Modelled on the popular travel app Airbnb, the scheme seeks to prevent homelessness before it happens – by harnessing the goodwill of those in the community. It also saves the council money that would otherwise go towards paying for hotels – meaning they can invest in long term solutions.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning said: “Given the growing housing crisis in Croydon, and throughout London, Fairbnb is exactly the kind of innovative idea we need to help tackle the problem. By becoming hosts Croydon residents can play their part in offering families who have been through the trauma of losing their home a friendly face and environment at a time of need. I welcome this great idea and look forward to seeing the conclusions of the pilot.”
Pancho Lewis, who is managing the project said: “FairBnB is looking for people in Croydon who are in a position to support their neighbours, build relationships and make a difference,” “Participants will be paid, as well as knowing they’re contributing to a new and cutting edge approach to preventing homelessness.”
FairBnB’s initial target is to recruit ten host families over the course of August and September. Residents who sign up need to be homeowners with spare rooms. They will be paid between £15 and £25 a night depending on the size of the room.
Most people being hosted will be young families or pregnant mothers who risk losing the roof above their heads. They will be screened in advance to ensure the safety of hosts. The length of stay will typically be about six weeks, with a maximum of up to eight.
FairBnB’s search for host families coincides with a statement from a parliamentary select committee, which called on councils to do more to tackle rising homelessness.
For more information, check out the Fair BnB FAQs page, and if you live in Croydon and want to get involved in hosting download a questionnaire. Fair BnB can be contacted on 0800 612 2182 or 07982 405 332, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org .