Recognition for Brent’s pioneering approach to social housing crisis

15 March 2019

A social housing scheme offering a creative remedy to the crisis in social housing was highly commended at the LGC Awards on Wednesday (13 March).

 

The highly commended initiative has rehoused 180 Brent families since 2017, and saved residents £250,000 in temporary accommodation costs in its first year.

 

Brent was also nominated in the Community Initiative category for its Harlesden Community Hub pilot, which helps people with complex to navigate services from employment support to debt advice under one roof.

 

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader for Brent Council, said: "Housing is one of the biggest challenges London councils face as we try to balance demand and supply in a climate of government cuts. We're delighted to be recognised for the creative approach we've taken to making sure families have access to good quality, affordable accommodation."

 

The Council established its wholly-owned Local Authority Trading Company, i4B Holdings Limited (i4B), in December 2016. In September 2017, i4B began letting homes to homeless families.

 

The company is acquiring a large portfolio of good quality, private rental accommodation, professionally managed and let at affordable rates, to support the Council in tackling homelessness and increasing the amount of affordable homes.

 

As of January 2019, 180 Brent families, including 464 children, have been housed in i4B homes. Over 90% of these families have been rehoused from temporary B&B accommodation. The programme is estimated to save £600,000 annually in temporary accommodation from April 2020.