Incentives for South Cambridgeshire landlords to help Ukrainians find privately rented homes
Landlords in South Cambridgeshire will be offered incentive payments of up to £4,230 to help Ukrainian refugees find privately rented homes.
The district council said many Ukrainians had faced challenges trying to find a rented home in the area. It published that said 241 groups of Ukrainian guests had moved out of their host homes - 80 groups had returned to Ukraine, 36 had moved into social housing, and 125 were renting privately. But there are still 171 groups being hosted by people in the area who need to move to more independent accommodation.
The report said a landlord incentive scheme could “help provide equal opportunity to refugees in finding sustainable and affordable housing”.
The scheme will provide private landlords with an incentive payment for offering a tenancy at either market rent or local housing allowance rates. Larger incentives will be offered for bigger homes and those offered at the housing allowance rates.
An initial payment will be made for the offer of a six-month tenancy and if a further tenancy is agreed, for either six or 12 months, landlords can receive another payment. Each landlord will only be able to receive a maximum of two top-up payments after the initial one while renting the home to the same group.
Initial payments range from £1,140 for a one-bedroom home at market rent, and up to £2,820 for a four-bedroom home at the housing allowance rate. Top-up payments range from £1,140 for a one-bedroom property offered for a further six months at market rent, and up to £4,230 for a four-bedroom home offered for a 12-month tenancy at the housing allowance rate.
The council said the scheme will be wholly funded from central government grants. Incentive payments will only be offered to a family for 18 months to promote independence.
At a meeting of the district council’s cabinet on September 28, Cllr Bill Handley, lead cabinet member for communities, said: “This council has seen one of the highest number of Homes for Ukraine arrivals for a lower tier authority with over 850 Ukrainian guests coming to the district since the scheme began.
“The first phase of the project has been a tremendous success and is now considered by officers to be business as usual. For the last months though, the focus has been on helping guests to move on to independent accommodation.
“As cabinet is well aware, getting into the private rental sector is expensive and has proved challenging for Ukrainian guests, and in mitigation it is proposed the council consider launching a landlord incentive scheme.
“The proposed scheme is to provide more affordable and sustainable housing options for our Ukrainian guests and it is very similar to one that operates already in Bristol City Council, so it is not a complete new scheme - there is evidence it has worked elsewhere.
“The scheme will offer upfront payments to landlords depending on circumstances, such as property size and whether the offer of tenancy is at the local housing authority rate or the market rent.
“Larger incentive payments will be available to landlords who offer a tenancy at the local housing rate, it is to encourage more affordable and sustainable options for guests.”