Report on Private Sector Leased Accommodation goes to Cabinet

Published: Thursday, 2 May 2019

A report on Havering Council’s review into Private Sector Leased Accommodation (PSL) is being brought to the Cabinet on 8 May.

The PSL scheme was set up in Havering in 2004 to lease properties from private sector landlords as temporary accommodation to prevent homelessness for those with a housing need.

However, with rising rental costs for private properties and increasing demand on the service prompting questions about whether the scheme continued to be value for money, a review was set up to look at these pressures and the housing and support needs of those residents living in PSL properties.

Reassurance was also given that the review was not a plan to end the PSL scheme.

What the review found

  • The majority of PSL residents depend on benefits to meet their rental payments and that any future housing solutions should be based on local housing allowance levels to make it affordable for homeless households.
  • Around one in five households live in accommodation that is either too large or too small with either too many or too few bedrooms for their current need. The report recommends that officers work with these households about alternative accommodation more suited to their needs.
  • 27 per cent of households have significant support needs and their support should be taken into account should they need to move.
  • People who were assessed as homeless on or before 9 November 2012 and have lived in temporary accommodation for more than six years should be offered a social tenancy over a five year period.

Havering Council also looked at the supply and demand of temporary accommodation based on homeless households.

Due to the changing nature of the market and the challenge to find available private rented housing, the Council will look at finding a new supply of housing to meet their needs.

Councillor Damian White, The Leader of Havering Council, said:

“This review has helped us have a firm understanding of what the future housing and support needs are for those in temporary accommodation.  The most important thing is to reassure everyone that the PSL scheme will continue and we will make sure we offer the right accommodation and help households who would otherwise become homeless. This commitment remains unchanged.”