Appeal to private landlords to help house Melton's vulnerable families
An appeal has been sounded by Melton Council for private landlords to help it house more vulnerable families and meet its responsibilities to find homes for Syrian people displaced by the civil war in their country.
The council says there is a shortage of suitable properties, both within its own housing stock and on the private market.
A report which went before the latest People Committee stated there were 88 families in the borough which had a high priority housing need, including 22 living in temporary accommodation.
Councillors also discussed at length their inability to meet a pledge to support the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, a problem also experienced by many other councils in the Midlands.
Melton Council housed two Syrian families in 2016, and they have settled well in the community, but the authority has been unable to house the agreed two per year since then.
Private properties are sought for the Syrians with the rental cost paid by the government.
Councillor Alan Pearson, chair of the committee, told the Melton Times: “Changes in homeless prevention legislation has recently put additional pressure on housing availability.
“Adding to this the increasing cost of private rental properties in the area, alongside reduced availability of properties, has meant providing suitable properties for vulnerable families, both local and Syrian, is proving to be a challenge.”
The council says housing officers are working hard to identify more suitable private rental homes.
To aid this search, councillors have agreed to offer a two-year rental guarantee to provide reassurance to landlords where their accommodation may be suitable for all vulnerable families.
Councillor Pearson added: “Once we have this guarantee firmly in place we will then be in a position to offer this assistance to families on our housing register who are also looking for suitable private rental properties.
“If there are any landlords who feel they have suitable accommodation, we would love to hear from them.
“We would ask them to please get it contact with our housing team.
“The council is taking an inclusive view of all vulnerable families and we aim to ensure we can provide the best service and support possible.”
The next party of vulnerable Syrian families is due to fly to the UK in November with suitable housing needed to be found by October 10.