‘Cautious welcome’ for Welsh leasing scheme

Private landlords in Wales are to be encouraged to lease their properties to local authorities in return for a rent guarantee and additional funding to improve the condition of their property.

So Climate Change Minister Julie James when announcing a £30m, five-year drive to end homelessness.

The new money is to go to local authorities to allow them to lease properties so as to provide affordable and good quality homes for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Tenants will benefit from the security of long-term tenures of between five to 20 years and help to maintain their stay in a long-term home, such as mental health support or debt and money management advice, said James.

The scheme will complement the Welsh Government’s commitment to build 20,000 low carbon, good quality and affordable homes for rent over the next five years. It has been ‘shaped’ by recommendations made by the independent expert Homelessness Action Group.

The National Residential Landlords Association has given a ‘cautious welcome’ to announcement of the scheme.

Private sector leasing schemes provide improved access to accommodation for households in need and balance the risks faced by landlords when working with tenants who can be difficult to reference or have an atypical rental history, it said.

‘The NRLA is yet to see much of the detail of how the action plan will be enacted, however we are pleased this initiative recognises the positive role played by private landlords in providing good quality homes for those in the greatest need’, said NRLA policy director Chris Norris.