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BHT’s Housing Access Project (HAP) is celebrating its first successful year of providing training, advice and guidance so that people can find accommodation in the private rented sector in Hastings and St Leonard’s.
Since the project was launched in September 2013, the team has worked with 265 people in the town and 46 people have been successful in securing and maintaining their own accommodation in the private rented sector.
HAP works with clients to develop the skills and attitudes needed to become good tenants, from paying their rent on time to reporting maintenance issues and presenting themselves positively to landlords and their neighbours.
BHT’s Housing Access Projects work with single people and couples who the local authority don’t have a duty to assist.
The Housing Access Project cannot work with families or single people with dependent children.
To contact the project please call Kay Reynolds on 01424 572009
Clients attend workshops designed to empower them to find and maintain a tenancy in the private rented sector as well as being signposted to services to secure employment and work and learning opportunities.
Due to rising house prices and lower than average salaries in the town, more and more people are struggling to buy properties in the area and are therefore turning to the private rented sector causing both demand and competition for renters.
Hastings and St Leonard’s is also home to a large number of minimum wage workers and zero hour contracts resulting in the towns renters struggling to raise the £1,000 plus needed to pay the rent in advance, deposit and high agency fees.
It’s been a really successful first year for the HAP and we are really pleased with the results.
The figures show that the demand for the service has been really high and that securing accommodation in the private rented sector in the town is a common problem and one that needed addressing.
I am pleased to see that all 46 people who we have housed so far this year have sustained their tenancies. I believe this is due to the HAP training which teaches people about their rights and responsibilities as a tenant and those of the landlord, giving them a greater understanding of what it takes to be a good tenant.
More and more people are looking for accommodation in the private rented sector in the town and HAP is helping people to develop the skills and knowledge they need to make informed choices and compete in the market.
Kay Reynolds, Project Leader, Hastings HAP