Easylet affordable housing scheme celebrates first anniversary

A scheme which makes letting easy for landlords and provides good quality, affordable private rented housing for people facing homelessness is celebrating its first partnership working anniversary.

Easylet became a partnership between Path, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Homes4Let in 2015. The scheme originated some years ago because there were property owners approaching one part of the Council for advice as to what to do with their properties whilst other departments were seeing people desperate for somewhere to live. The new partnership arrangement joins up those different groups, meaning fewer empty properties and fewer people who are homeless.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the first anniversary of the Easylet partnership with PATH and Plymouth Homes4Let. It is a win-win situation for both landlords and those who are at risk of homelessness.

“The scheme means that landlords benefit from a fast tenant finder service, competitive rents, and a full property and tenancy management service. To start with, they are given advice on their property, its condition and on letting, so that they are more aware of how it can be used and what standards they should meet.

“Easylet is therefore raising property standards across the city, by ensuring all properties taken on meet the decent homes standard and promoting the ‘Plymouth Charter for Private Rented Housing.”

Path and Plymouth City Council Housing Dept already work together to address homelessness, especially by helping people into rented accommodation. Both also work with social letting agency Plymouth Homes4Let, which is fair to landlords and doesn’t charge tenants any fees.  Together, they are able to run Easylet in a way that makes the most of properties in the City.

31 new units of accommodation have been secured since April 2015 and 13 more are having improvement works done before they are brought onto the scheme. Some of these units have been used to accommodate Afghan interpreters who served alongside British soldiers and have now been granted asylum in the UK. There’s also work to try to house Syrian refugees via the scheme in future, giving people access to good quality accommodation in the private sector which they can make their home.

Director of Path, Mike Taylor, says: “Easylet is a great way for us and partners to provide a service to local landlords that sees a focus on standards while helping house people otherwise vulnerable to homelessness. It’s really complementary to what we do as a charity and reflects the City’s commitment to both supporting and improving the private rented sector.”

To find out more information about the EasyLet Scheme visit Path’s website: http://www.pathdevon.org/easylet.html or contact the team directly: 01725 398246 / 07928 703 792 / easylet@pathdevon.org