Homelessness, Housing

– New landlord and tenant matching service, Innovative fund announced

Government announces recipients of innovative projects to support Housing Benefit reforms


The Minister for Welfare Reform announced ten recipients who will share a total of a £4 million fund to “provide innovative support by working with voluntary organisations, providing free advice to landlords and tenants, creating a digital service to match landlords with tenants”.

This £4 million is part of an extra £190 million additional funding to ease the situation over the current spending review period, and is designed to allow, for example Local Authorities network with local charities and other community groups to offer help to claimants to create a data base that would match landlords with tenants.

Lord Freud announcing the successful bids said:


It’s absolutely vital that we take urgent steps to manage Housing Benefit expenditure, which has been spiralling out of control for more than a decade….


We want families on benefits to make the same choices as working families about where they live – but there’s no reason for anyone to be made homeless ….”


Any additional assistance from the government must be welcomed however some questions need to be asked. Are these measures going to be enough to prevent homelessness? Equally important, will it prevent the proliferation of  areas of deprivation consisting of low quality, high density housing, with the resulting social problems like crime, long term health problems and educational needs.

Furthermore, it can be argued that it is pointless having a data base of landlords who are offering tenants rents that are outside their ability to afford, or that tenants are being treated illegally when they are unable to seek legal redress owing to the changes in legal aid.

The logical solution in dealing with a situation where demand exceeds supply – creating a whole generation unable to afford decent housing – is to build more affordable homes. Like the massive rebuilding boom after the war, the benefits were very clear to see. Poverty and deprivation decreased markedly; overall general educational standards increased thus fuelling the overall economic recovery.

The successful applicants were:

Cambridge City Council
Cambridge City Council on behalf of the Northgate Benefits Product Group will allow up to 168 local authorities across the UK highlight tenants who may be affected by the changes using special software.

North London Housing Partnership
Led by the London Borough of Haringey with voluntary organisation Islington People’s Rights, two hubs in North London will provide monetary advice, support with rent negotiations and practical assistance to help households across six local authority areas.

East London Housing Partnership.
A new Social Lettings Agency will provide free services to landlords across eight local authorities in East London to avoid management costs and reduce rents, as well as support for tenants who may have to move.

London Borough of Lambeth.
The London Borough of Lambeth, working in partnership with local voluntary groups, will launch a tenancy support service to target and support people who will be affected by the changes.

London Borough of Brent.
The London Borough of Brent will be working with the voluntary sector to provide advice for Housing Benefit claimants.

Cardiff City Council.
A website for all of Wales run by Cardiff City Council will provide information and support for people affected by the changes to housing benefit.

Kirklees Council.
A new digital service which could help up to 50,000 households by matching landlords and tenants who want to rent at Local Housing Allowance rates across five local authority areas in West Yorkshire.

Bristol City Council.
A partnership between Bristol City Council, Bristol Credit Union, three neighbouring local authorities, the West of England Partnership and the National Landlords Association will establish services for landlords and tenants.

Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.
Tenants in 13 local authorities in the North West will be given help in negotiating rents as well as general money advice from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. Advice and support for landlords will also be provided.

Edinburgh Council.
A one-stop shop will be established with local voluntary groups to target those affected in Edinburgh.

David Healey

Project Support Officer



  1. There is a service that does match landlords and tenants online tenantmatch uk. ?

  2. Unfortunately, althought the coalition government’s announcement is well-intentioned, it is also inhibiting people, myself included, in setting up a lettings agency [that is, a tax-paying business]. I am to be made redundant on 31 August and am planning to set up a business – sadly this announcement may remove a very promising business option for me.

    Your comment also ignores the fact that the spending spree the last government embarked on after 2001 means that there ain’t the money to start building lots of public sector housing. Please make your comments based on the reality we face, not the utopia you wish for.

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