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Improving our local private rented sector and combatting homelessness

The TDS Charitable Foundation has published the results of a research project which examined how the private rented sector could help to combat homelessness in the Hertfordshire borough of Dacorum (where the TDS headquarters is located). The aim of the project, a partnership with local homelessness charity DENS, was to assess the needs of vulnerable renters and identify interventions that could be introduced to help improve the private rented sector and reduce the risk of homelessness in Dacorum.

The resulting report found that the private rented sector is an important housing option in Dacorum and has the potential to help alleviate homelessness. However, private rented housing is currently not very accessible for people on a low income or those in receipt of benefits, who face a number of financial barriers.

The report also found that rising numbers of people are becoming homeless due to loss of a private tenancy in Dacorum, a result of the increased pressures of the cost of living crisis in the UK. The most vulnerable households have been severely impacted, but a wider section of the population in the borough is also struggling, a group described as “just about managing”.

There are several organisations in Dacorum that work with those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, but there is low uptake of services by private renters, due to a lack of awareness of the help that is available. There are also some gaps in provision for those living in the private rented sector.

The report identified a few possible interventions that could be introduced to improve the private rented sector for vulnerable renters in Dacorum. DENS, with the support of the TDS Charitable Foundation, will be formulating a project based on these recommendations. 


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