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BHT has been awarded £294,083 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund to deliver a project which will give homeless and insecurely housed men and women the skills they need to find and secure accommodation in the private rented sector.
The project will work with participants to gain a range of skills that will help them find and secure accommodation, from understanding the requirements of landlords to demonstrating positive tenant behaviour and learning the importance of always paying rent on time.
Participants will also learn about the importance of making a positive impression on landlords including personal presentation, time keeping and communication skills.
The participant’s accommodation finding skills will be strengthened through peer support, whereby people can share their experiences and support others to gain the skills and the knowledge they need.
Participants with poor tenant track-records will learn about positive tenant behaviour and create a portfolio of qualities so that they are able to demonstrate to a landlord that they would now be suitable tenants.
They will learn how to manage their money and make regular and timely payments, which they will demonstrate through consistent service charge payments in supported housing schemes, or payments into credit unions.
The course will also cover living in shared accommodation and how to find sharers, , setting up payment methods and budgeting, to prepare people for the imminent benefit changes.
The project will also work with local private landlords to overcome real and perceived barriers to housing homeless people and to ensure that the training provided to participants meets their needs as landlords.
The East Sussex Advice Services Housing Access Project will run for four years and employ two workers in East Sussex.
We are really pleased to have been awarded this funding and are confident that this will help us to tackle the barriers that are preventing people from sustaining their tenancies, and help people to move forward from homelessness towards more positive futures.
Suzanne Hennell, East Sussex Advice Services Manager