Through Reimagining Rent, we are committed to accelerating the innovations that have the potential to improve the private rented sector for vulnerable renters, including those on low incomes. We know that concentrated innovation at a local-level can create models for others to follow. This is our second cohort to the programme, which is funded by the Nationwide Foundation. Over the next six months, six initiatives will be supported to strengthen their business models, demonstrate their impact and grow their potential to scale.
Ethical Rental Sector aims to provide a reliably affordable, quality rental experience for London’s “City Makers” – a term similar to Key Worker that includes a broader spectrum of industries where employees are routinely paid insufficiently to meet rental affordability standards. It aims to do this by growing a permanent portfolio of ‘Smart HMOs’, sustainably using the capital’s large resource of under-occupied family homes, refurbished and extended to provide a market leading occupier experience – all underpinned by quality design and a focus on community.
Homeshare UK brings together people with spare rooms with people who are happy to chat and lend a hand around the house in return for affordable, sociable accommodation. Part of Shared Lives Plus, the model aims to ensure that people are well-supported to pursue ordinary lives within the households and relationships of their choice, feeling that they belong and can make a valued contribution to those around them. There are 23 UK Homeshare delivery organisations, supporting 400 Homeshare matches and benefitting 800 people.
Sharing Solutions is a partnership between Crisis and the London Borough of Lewisham, working to create a model of how affordable shared housing can be provided to younger people on low incomes as part of a new mixed-tenure housing development; how institutional landlords might provide more security and affordability to people struggling to access housing; and how shared housing can provide a long-term settled and financially viable home. The aim is to create at least 20 offers of accommodation to single, young people in need in Lewisham and to also create an example for others to follow.
Smart Renter is a web app created by Housing Rights that provides renters with clear, straightforward advice and support on renting in the private sector in Northern Ireland. It includes a mobile-responsive website, checklists, letter templates and an innovative new chatbot, all in a simple, user-friendly format. The aim is to make renters more aware of their rights and responsibilities and achieve better outcomes for both renters and landlords.
The Kohab is a new intergenerational later-living company bringing old and young adults together under one roof to live in mutual support. The model works by offering younger residents discounted rent to live in The Kohab’s retirement schemes where they can support their older neighbours. Its mission is to create a solution to the loneliness epidemic faced by both young and old adults in the UK, as well as the age ghettos created by the approach to retirement living today.
Your Own Place CIC is a social enterprise committed to finding new solutions to old problems and preventing youth homelessness. Its project will focus on developing the tools and methodologies needed in order to begin conversations with private landlords, exploring with them what their needs are in relation to their younger, more vulnerable and benefit claiming tenants. Working with the third sector and local authorities, Your Own Place will develop and run workshops with landlords to understand their pressure points, their challenges and to test and evaluate potential solutions.