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Rent support scheme nears 100% success rate in preventing evictions

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Rent support scheme nears 100% success rate in preventing evictions

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

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Image: Housing via Shutterstock

A scheme that helps vulnerable tenants in rent arrears avoid eviction has recorded a 97% success rate for keeping people in their homes.

The 10-week Rent Support Programme is run by Kineara, a social enterprise founded in 2012 to create services that save money and have a social impact.

The programme, which was developed in partnership with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, housing association Poplar HARCA and Kineara, works with residents and their families who are in rent arrears to help them out of debt and get them to a better place emotionally as well as financially.

Kineara has found that residents are often suffering with physical or mental health problems, causing their debts to spiral. After identifying the causes of a tenant's arrears, Kineara works with them over a 10-week period to develop strategies to deal with their problems and start paying their rent again.

Six rent support programmes have now been piloted with Poplar HARCA and Guinness Housing Partnership. Of the 35 tenants the programme has worked with, 34 have been saved from eviction and 32 started to pay their rent again.

With the average cost of eviction around £5,000, the potential savings for housing providers are huge.

And the programme has had an important social impact as well as saving money. Tenants who have used the scheme said they felt happier, less isolated and valued by their housing association.

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