Swansea City Council at the forefront of Private Rented Sector engagement in Wales
For the past three years, the Wales Co-operative Centre have been funded to work with private rented sector landlords and their tenants, local authorities, credit unions and support providers. The aim of our work has been to improve tenants financial capability, and in turn help then to sustain their tenancies or access more appropriate and affordable housing.
Jocelle Lovell, the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Financial Inclusion Project Manager, said credit where credit is due, Swansea City Council are taking a really proactive approach to working with their private rented sector (PRS) landlords.
Last night, I attended the annual PRS Forum at the Guild Hall, in Swansea, along with 80 to 100 other landlords.
The agenda wasn’t too busy, which helped to keep the evening focussed, and we heard short presentations from:
- Welsh Governments Simon White on Housing Act (Wales) 2014, Renting Homes Bill and what the model contracts will look like
- Anne Rowland (seconded to Welsh Government) on Regulation of the PRS Housing Act (Wales) 2014, the Housing Act and landlord registration and licensing and how this is going to work
- Both of which are of interest to the Centre’s own work with the Welsh housing sector, through both Tackling Homelessness through Financial Inclusion and the Co-operative Housing projects.
The presentation which really caught my attention was by Marcia Williams of The Wallich, about the new PRS access scheme they are developing with Swansea City Council. Having consulted with landlords, they are now developing a scheme which will bring together the various local authority departments relevant to housing including environmental health and planning, along with support and advice. This one stop shop model will focus purely on the PRS, offering a wide range of services that will include; advice, pre tenancy and in tenancy support and housing management functions to landlords and their tenants.
Swansea clearly recognises the significance of the PRS and its role as a strategic housing partner, developing a very proactive approach to engaging with the sector, in order to make more properties available to meet the growing demand for affordable housing options.
The evening ended with a Q&A sessions and the raffle, where winning ticket holders received bags with Carbon monoxide detectors and small fire extinguishers amongst other things.