The housing market has changed significantly since we launched our Bond Guarantee Scheme, especially since the pandemic. We know this is the most challenging and difficult time to find affordable and good quality accommodation and we are working desperately hard with landlords and letting agents to help homeless people to continue to access new housing. This has led to a significant increase in referrals to The Bond Board which far outweighs current housing availability. It is clear we need to change how access to the Bond Guarantee works so we can prioritise engaging with more landlords and agents about freeing up more housing for people in need. This includes providing incentives to help keep rents low and promoting our services more fully with potential landlords.
This does mean that in Rochdale we won’t be accepting new referrals for a trial period.
This doesn’t mean that we are closing The Bond Board service. Instead, we will be providing a housing advice overview for people making new enquires about our Bond Guarantee which will include;
- Housing and homelessness rights and options advice
- Affordability in the Private Rented Sector
- Rent levels and Local Housing Allowance
- Explaining our written Bond Guarantee
- Advising where to look for properties and providing all the information for clients to look for properties themselves.
- We will be providing written information around all these areas for people to take away
- We will continue to offer immediate assessments for clients who do find properties that meet the criteria so that they can move quickly and without delay.
We also hope to have our new online portal launched by Summer 2023 which will include an online application for clients to complete which will further reduce the need for the previous formal referrals.
We will review the trial after 3 months to ascertain if the landlord focus has been successful in securing more properties for our clients and helping more homeless people to get housed.
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