OUR IMPACT

The difference we make

The Bond Board exists to provide housing and support in the private rented sector for the hundreds of homeless and vulnerable households that ask us for help each year. Despite the challenges of Covid 19, we took a responsive and flexible approach, adapting our services where necessary, so that in 2021/22 we were still able to support 1872 homeless households to get housed or maintain their homes. We also continued to deliver support, training and incentives to over 300 landlords and letting agents who provide homes for homeless and low income households.

 

My support worker has just been like my saviour really. She helps me with everything. She got me this place and helped me sort all my bills out. It’s given me a new lease of life cos I wouldn’t be here and in this place without The Bond Board. I’ve got my own life back.

Bond Board service user

What you need to know about The Bond Board’s impact in 2021/22

Homeless Prevention

We enabled 98% of people supported by our Making the Link service to sustain their tenancies and avoid homelessness. 76% of people with notices to leave or who were threatened with homelessness were prevented from losing their homes or were rehoused before becoming homeless by our Tenant’s Advocacy Service. A further 245 were prevented from becoming homeless across the range of support services delivered by The Bond Board.

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You give invaluable information to tenants that they might not have been aware of. I could have been illegally evicted if it wasn’t for the service provided by The Bond Board.

Bond Board Service User

Housing the homeless

During Covid 19 we continued to work in partnership with Local Authority homeless teams, identifying and prioritising those without accommodation. We provided 87 new Bond Guarantees to house homeless households (including 39 children) into decent, affordable private rented accommodation. We housed 41 homeless households from temporary homeless accommodation, enabling them to resettle into a long-term home and freeing up space for others in need. 536 formerly homeless households are currently housed by The Bond Board in the private rented sector and are maintaining their tenancies with support on hand from The Bond Board.

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They offer support to tenants who have not always managed to maintain successful tenancies in the past. This help means the tenants have somewhere to turn to for help and advice and ensures minor problems are addressed before they become major issues.

Bond Board Landlord

Preventing repeat cycles of homelessness

Our Making the Link support service enabled 98% of people to sustain their tenancies and avoid homelessness.   93% of people reported increased independence and quality of life as a consequence of the support they received. 95% of people felt support reduced their social isolation, and 67% improved their social networks. An improvement in confidence in the use of assistive technology was achieved by 69% of people. 95% of people felt they could successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges. We also enabled 25% of people to participate in physical activities, 13% began volunteering, and 19% started work.

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Watch one of our service users tell his story

Maximising Incomes

During Covid 19 and the ongoing cost of living crisis, we have seen an increase in people needing support with food and fuel poverty and help for rent costs due to changes in circumstances and unforeseen costs. Across all projects at The Bond Board, we  put £1,328,494.74 back into the pockets of our service users this year via benefit applications/appeals, debt reduction and successful grant applications.

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Providing innovative solutions to homelessness

Despite a rapidly changing housing market, with a shrinking of the Private Rented Sector, rising house prices and rapidly rising rents, our award-winning Social Enterprise housing management scheme ‘Letting Out’ continues to build and provide stable affordable housing. We manage 100 properties on behalf of 72 landlords. We currently house clients under diverse projects such as Housing First, Social Impact Bond, Trainer Flats offering Young People a bridging accommodation into their own tenancy and accommodation for those given leave to remain and in need of housing.

We currently house 78 people under the age of 35 and 34 families. All households are those most at risk from homelessness and struggling to find accommodation in the region in their own affordable and accessible housing.

We are also delivering a project for single people aimed at providing access to the Private Rented Sector for a bespoke client group. With a target of housing 33 people across Bolton, Bury and Rochdale in stable accommodation with suitable support to help stabilise housing and prevent future homelessness, our bond and Letting Out project has been integral to the successful delivery of this. Currently 14 people have been housed, with several more pending, emphasising how the Private Rented Sector can play an important role in offering housing solutions, flexibility and choice.

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The Bond Board are very dependable. If I need to contact them, they are always there. They are helpful, friendly, and most of all, they are very experienced.

Bond Board Landlord

Help Through Crisis

Our specialist Welfare Rights Worker supported 68 households with complex benefit issues, including representation at DWP Tribunal hearings, between April-September 21, achieving a financial gain for service users, via increased benefit entitlement of £59,594.75

Our Financial Re-engagement Worker supported 142 people in 2021-22 achieving a financial gain of £81,784.77 for service users via the take up of benefits, grants/trust funds and Discretionary Housing Payments. 17 homeless households were re-housed in the private rented sector with awards secured from the Vicar’s Relief Trust Fund totalling £8,371.00.  56 struggling households were supported to reduce their food poverty. 40 people said the service had reduced their stress and anxiety, 73 said the service had enabled them to cope better in the future and 45 said they felt empowered to make choices about the services they needed to support them.

We had 365 attendances at our ‘Quid’s In’ coffee mornings in the community, where people completed a financial-health check and increased their knowledge of financial literacy, benefits, housing options and engaged in a community arts project to reduce their social isolation. We achieved a financial gain of £66,087.80 for service users attending Quid’s In via the take up of benefits, grants/trust funds and Discretionary Housing Payments.

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Picked up my keys for my new flat 2 weeks ago. Spent a week decorating. I have my cats and they now have a permanent home. It’s nice to have my stuff back, I forgot what I had’.

Quid's In Service User

Tenant Advocacy Service

Our Tenant’s Advocacy Service aims to prevent homelessness by offering early Housing Advice and advocacy for private tenants threatened with homelessness in Rochdale. With many tenants impacted by Covid 19 and the cost of living crisis, the service supports both tenants and landlords to resolve both housing and underlying issues before they escalate, so that the trauma of homelessness is avoided where possible.

From September 2021, we have provided specialist advice and support to 123 households. Of the 95 cases that have been resolved, we have been able to prevent homeless in 76% of these cases. 100% of service users said the service reduced their stress and anxiety, 93% reported improved knowledge of their tenancy rights and responsibilities and 53% of landlords changed their approach after landlord/tenant mediation from the TAS service.

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I feel relived. I was such a mess, didn’t know where to turn. Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, it was one step forwards, three steps backwards. You helped me so much. Over the last 9 months I have had to deal with a lot of services to help my family. I can honestly say this one was the only one who actually helped. I’m so grateful for this service.

 

Tenant's Advocacy Service User

Watch our volunteer service users helping others

We believe that people who have experienced homelessness and hardship are best placed to design and deliver services for others in a similar situation.

Supporting Asylum Seekers and Refugees to settle in the community

168 households given Leave to Remain have been supported to settle in the community via our Asylum Support and Resettlement Project. 20% have begun training or education, 27% have taken up paid employment and 23% have undertaken English Language skills support.

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The Bond Board works collaboratively in partnership with local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and private sector landlords to re-house and/or support homeless households in Greater Manchester.

What other organisation say about us

‘They demonstrate a respectful and dignified approach to the client group’.
Pennine Acute Trust

‘They always provide a flexible, client focused approach’.
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s Homelessness Team

Providing ‘Housing First’ for the homeless

The Bond Board’s Housing First delivery team has been delivering Housing First for 3 years. The service currently works with 37 people across Bury, Rochdale and Bolton who have experienced rough sleeping, or who find it difficult to live in a hostel/ supported accommodation and require intensive support to secure a housing pathway and manage a tenancy independently.

We have supported 35 people to move into their own homes. 87% of people on the programme with the Bond Board have maintained their tenancies.

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To be honest, you have to have trust with the worker. I think that’s one of the reasons that I am here today, because you believed in me.

Bond Board Housing First Tenant

Bringing empty properties back into use

Through both the Bond scheme and Letting Out, The Bond Board look to bring empty properties back into use in the borough as part of the Empty Property strategy and historically accessing the New Homes Bonus for the Local Authority. Since the start of the Empty Homes service, 135 properties have been bought back into use.  We look to work with both property owners with “long term” empty properties but also those whose properties have been empty 3 months or more as a prevention mechanism so as to not allow these properties to become longer term empty. This enables owners/landlords to bring property back into use if they don’t have the capital and the house is then used for a client group that otherwise would struggle for housing, increasing housing supply. In 2021-22 The Bond Board brought 14 empty properties back into use.

On the Empty Property initiative, we also record the amount of investment owners have placed into their properties directly to highlight private match funding. Of these 135 properties back into use we have recorded a total of £188,000 investment from owners on their properties to improve the property conditions. Our small works loan scheme continues to be popular with a total of 21 properties benefiting from short term capital investment with the loan collected from the rent. All properties are utilised by homeless households running at a very low void turnover, emphasising the need for stable, good quality and affordable housing in the region.

 

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Fair Housing Futures

Our hugely successful PRS navigator role ended in March 2022, hosted by Shelter which aimed to provide education, advice and support to both landlords and tenants in the Private Rented Sector. Navigating a world of Zoom and developing an online training programme, we adapted our approach and delivered 9 online webinars over the course of the project to 219 different landlords and Agents. We offered guided training on managing Universal Credit, the ever changing housing legislation during Covid 19, raising rent in challenging times for tenants and Starting & Ending a Tenancy. This has allowed us to build a better database of PRS landlords and Agents that are actively engaging with Bond Board services and has increased knowledge, improved management standards and reduced the threat of illegal eviction.

We offered bespoke 1:1 work with landlords and tenants to help resolve issues and mediation. Over the course of the project over 170 advice cases were delivered, generating over £46,600 of financial gain for tenants through successfully applying for help with housing costs, appealing benefit decisions, making backdated benefit requests or utilising projects to help reduce arrears and prevent homelessness.

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‘I took legal advice and without The Bond Board’s expertise we would have had to go down a lengthy and costly legal route, made more problematic through the Covid situation.    The Bond Board have been pleasant, professional, respectful and resourceful.  You have managed our expectations of the likely outcome and gone above and beyond to research the legal position when it was unclear’

Fair Housing Futures Landlord

Changing Futures

The Changing Futures programme is a £64 million joint initiative by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and The National Lottery Community Fund. The fund is for local organisations to work in partnership to better support those who experience multiple disadvantage. The Rochdale Changing Futures delivery team includes 5 workers from 4 different local organisations. The Team Leader post is hosted by the Bond Board. The project began in mid-January 22 and aims to tackle multiple disadvantages at the individual, service and system level. We will be working in partnership with people using the service to evaluate the impact of this new approach in the coming months.

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2022-23

During 21-22 we continued our commitment to service user co-production, delivering a creative community arts project to provide opportunities for our service users to share their personal stories of life during Covid 19, express their needs and have their voices heard within the wider community. We also worked in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to offer their Social Work and Psychology students placement opportunities to conduct service user consultation and feedback sessions. The research shows that whilst our service users are resilient, with a wealth of talents and skills, social isolation is a key issue they would like us to address. This is compounded by lack of affordable opportunities to meet with others and engage in activities which interest them in a safe and supportive space. Therefore, one of our priorities for the coming year will be to raise funds to enable us to deliver a new project in partnership with service users and volunteers to address social isolation.

 

 

The major challenge for the foreseeable future is the cost of living crisis which will hit low income PRS tenants hard. We have already seen an increase in people needing support with fuel, food, furniture and hygiene poverty and expect demand for support to reach unprecedent levels over the year. As such, we continue to seek funds that will enhance the practical support available to people in crisis to ensure, wherever possible, that there is a safety net for the most vulnerable.

The Bond Board is looking for additional investment to significantly expand the reach and scope of our services in line with our organisational strategy.

Our Projects

Without the support of our brilliant funders, we simply would not be able to continue our life-changing work. The Bond Board is funded by a range of organisations, from our local councils to nationally recognised funders like The Henry Smith Charity and The Lottery Community Fund. We can’t thank them enough!

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