Scheme to help Wakefield residents secure access to good quality private rental homes

​Date: 24/09/2014

Plans to expand a scheme which aims to help residents to secure access to good quality private rental homes will be discussed by Wakefield councillors on September 30.

Members of Wakefield Council's Cabinet are to consider increasing access to Wakefield Rent Deposit Scheme, a "bond guarantee" scheme, which currently offers support to vulnerable single people and couples without children living in the district.

The proposal is to help a broader group of prospective tenants than before, who would otherwise be unable to afford to pay a private landlord the cash needed to secure a tenancy by guaranteeing their "bond". No money changes hands, but there is a written guarantee, agrees to compensate the landlord if there were problems with the tenancy.

Under the proposals the scheme would be expanded to include:

•  People struggling to afford their rented home because of welfare reform changes.

•  Home owners suffering severe financial hardship, who are either at risk of repossession or being forced to sell their home.

•  Families who need to move due to overcrowding issues.

•  Private tenants who cannot afford a bond but need to move from low quality accommodation.

Cllr Denise Jeffrey, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: "The aim of the bond is to create a more stable environment for tenants, for local residents and for landlords.

"If the proposal is agreed it would provide more than 150 households with affordable access to their choice of a home within the private rented sector."

A report to councillors says the change to the bond guarantee scheme is being recommended in response to the government's welfare reform changes which are said to be causing uncertainty in the private rented sector.

If approved more than 150 people per year would benefit from the scheme, at a total of cost of £21,800 to the council in 2014/15. The extended scheme would continue to be administered by Wakefield Rent Deposit Scheme.