Joining the battle against homelessness

A landlord has revealed how he is taking steps to help reduce the threat of homelessness thanks to a special partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council.


Stephen Blake got in touch after hearing the Council was asking private landlords to make contact if they had homes available.


Mr Blake had a property in Witney and shortly afterwards he was able to accommodate a couple who had been facing eviction.


He said: “I had heard that the council was looking for emergency accommodation and I said I had a good house available.


“Soon afterwards a couple moved in. They are both working, looking after the property well and talking about staying for the long-term. I am pleased I have been able to help them put a roof over their heads.”


The relationship with private landlords is part of an initiative designed to help people address the barriers preventing people find a home in West Oxfordshire.


Earlier this year a special forum was held involving landlords and housing agents with a view to providing more private rented accommodation for those on benefits and the housing waiting list.


Cllr Steve Good, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This sort of lateral thinking is producing real results and is helping people meet their housing needs.


“The more we can do to help avoid the threat of homelessness for residents in the District the better and we look forward to working with more landlords in the near future.”


The Council’s housing team is utilising funding awarded by the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government’s Private Rented Sector Access Fund in an innovative project which provides deposits and rent advances – a common barrier for people on the housing waiting list.


A final piece of work aims to introduce a way of enabling private sector properties to be advertised on the system used by people searching and bidding for social housing. Landlords will benefit from the opportunity to advertise free of charge on the new system when it becomes available later in the year.


West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
OX28 1PB