The Royal Borough, together with other boroughs in West London, is taking part in the Single Homeless Voucher Scheme (SHVS). This is designed to help single, homeless people who are not in full-time employment to find accommodation in the private rented sector. It gives landlords a financial incentive to offer suitable accommodation to this client group.
The Council will provide clients with a voucher with a redeemable value of £150. Once they find accommodation, the client hands the voucher and accompanying guidance to their new landlord. The landlord must send the Council:
- the original voucher
- a copy of the licence or tenancy agreement supplied to the client
- a signed declaration that they are aware of their responsibilities as a landlord
- a completed BACS form
The vouchers are not transferable between clients, so the name on the voucher must match the name on the licence or tenancy agreement.
After carrying out some checks, the Council will pay the landlord or agent £150 within 30 days of receipt of completed documentation.
How long are vouchers valid for?
The vouchers are valid for three calendar months from the date of issue. If a client uses the voucher to secure accommodation towards the end of this period, the Council will still redeem the voucher for a further two week period.
Will the Council help the client to find accommodation?
This scheme is designed to help single clients whom the Council believes are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, but are not a priority for social housing. It is the client’s responsibility to find accommodation. The Council will only offer information and advice, for example useful website addresses and a list of things people should check before signing a tenancy agreement.
What checks does the Council make with regards to the landlord?
When the Council receives a request for a voucher to be redeemed, we will check that:
- the landlord is not subject to enforcement action
- a claim for Housing Benefit has been made by the client
- the client has not subsequently been assisted by the Council in another way (for example, received a different financial incentive)
Are there any restrictions on how the money can be used?
No. The £150 is designed as an incentive to landlords. It is not designed to replace any rent in advance or deposit. The voucher does not constitute a legal connection between the Council and a landlord or agent.
Who can I contact for more information?
Single Homeless Team on 020 7341 5184 or email SIT@rbkc.gov.uk