Safe and Sound
Improving understanding and sustaining tenancies for new migrants
The project is about building relationships with local landlords, identifying what additional information and support they require and creating a space where tenants from new communities and landlords can meet every three months.
For many newly arrived migrants private sector housing is their only option and individuals are often uncertain about their rights. Funded by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) charitable foundation, the Safe and Sound project provides information, advocacy and support to refugees and EU migrants on how to navigate the complicated private rental market.
Our dedicated Private Rented Sector (PRS) Housing Worker delivers advice on how to access accommodation in the private sector and support to help people sustain their tenancy.
As part of a unique approach we are training peer housing mentors to raise awareness of tenants’ rights and responsibilities within new migrant communities in the Sandwell area.
For further information about this project or to make a referral please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How Brushstrokes Supports Users with Housing Issues
Helan and Luke have 5 children, Luke is employed part time. They have been in the UK since 2015, are EU nationals and live in a private rented house in Sandwell. In February 2017 Helan referred herself to us asked for help with landlord who was refusing to do any repairs. The biggest issue was with boiler which wasn’t working and pipes were not covered, causing hazards in the property for the children.
We contacted with landlord who refused to carry out the repairs, as a result we reported the case to local authority who took the appropriate action. By May all the issues had been sorted and Helan was very happy with our service, she says: “last time I got problem with my landlord and Brushstrokes helped me. When I have problem they help me.”
H keeps visiting our office for work club and she is actively looking for work and attending ESOL classes. He view of the service she has received shows her satisfaction , “I can say they are good. I’m happy with the help I got from them”
Sara is a single mother of 1 child, unemployed, and a refugee in UK since 2007. She is very vulnerable having experienced Domestic Violence and has limited ability to speak English.
In April 2016 Sara referred herself to us asking for help to find property for her and her little son. The flat above the shop she had been living was in very bad state of disrepair. Her landlord had to ask all tenants to move out in order to carry out repair work to the whole block.
We found Sara a 2 bedroom house through our accredited landlord. We arranged viewing of the property with landlord and client and at week later Sara with our full assistance moved in to new property. We helped her to understand her tenancy agreement, her rights and responsibilities, changing address for all benefits, transferring bills, making housing benefits claim and arranging payments made directly to landlord to prevent falling in to arears. We also applied for Discretionary Housing Payment from the local authority and Sara was able to receive a new washing machine.
We’ve been doing follow up every month for six months and Sara was doing very well and didn’t require any help or support at that time. A year after our support ended we contacted her to evaluate the support we had provided. Sara was very happy with all service and support we have provided which ensured that she was able to maintain her tenancy by herself. She also reports that she has a positive relationship with her landlord.