The TDS Charitable Foundation is running a project to assess how the private rented sector could help to combat homelessness in the Hertfordshire borough of Dacorum (where the TDS headquarters is located). The project is a partnership with the local homelessness charity DENS, who provide a variety of vital services to tackle poverty, homelessness and social exclusion in the borough.
As in the rest of the UK, homelessness numbers are rising in Dacorum. With the private rented sector operating as a disproportionate source of homelessness compared to other housing tenures, improving the overall sustainability of the sector for those at highest risk is essential. In addition, the shortage of social housing in the UK means that private rented housing must play a role in tackling homelessness and meeting housing need.
This project seeks to assess the current level of housing need in Dacorum and explore possible interventions that could be introduced to tackle homelessness, support vulnerable renters in the borough and improve access to, and security in, the private rented sector. It will do so by consulting stakeholders, including the local council and voluntary organisations such as Dacorum Foodbank, Community Action Dacorum, Liberty Tea Rooms and Christians Against Poverty, who all provide relevant services. The project will also engage with local people with lived experience of homelessness, who have lived or would like to live in private accommodation in Dacorum. Once an appropriate targeted intervention has been identified, the TDS Group will seek to develop a new scheme in Dacorum that will enhance the role of the private rented sector as a solution to homelessness.
This project aligns with the TDS Charitable Foundation’s aim to raise standards in the private rented sector, and its ambition to develop funded projects based on research and evidence.