Croydon Council will invest a total of £45m into helping households at risk of homelessness to get private rented properties under plans going to cabinet next week.
Since 2013 Croydon Council has invested £30m in the Real Lettings Fund, a joint scheme with charity St Mungo’s that manages good-quality, long-term housing for 151 households who would otherwise be in short-term, emergency accommodation.
By funding these properties, ranging from studio flats to three-bedroom homes, the scheme also cuts the amount of money the council needs to spend on emergency bed and breakfasts.
So far, the Real Lettings Fund has allowed Croydon Council to:
• House 169 people in total
• Cut its annual B&B bill by over £1 million
Now the council cabinet is set to decide on Monday 12 December whether to pump another £15m into the fund, which would provide a further 47 two-bedroom properties and take Croydon’s investment to £45m.
The council got involved in the scheme in response to rising demand for affordable private sector rented accommodation, and to offer low-income households access to a market that they would struggle to access on their own.
The Real Lettings Fund provides the accommodation through the council identifying those needing help and then passing them to St Mungo’s, who find a property to sub-let on a renewable 12-month tenancy. St Mungo’s also gives extra support to improve the householders’ job prospects and signposts them to other organisations if needed.
“I’m proud of our £30m investment in the Real Lettings Fund, which has already given a decent long-term home and jobseeking support to 150 Croydon households, but we recognise there is a housing crisis in Croydon and we need to do more.
“If the cabinet approves this further £15m investment, it will support dozens more households into a place of their own, help tackle demand and further cut our use of emergency accommodation, which is not only bad for families but also expensive for the council.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning