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Colchester lodgings scheme launched to help more people into accommodation

Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) is working in partnership with Solo Housing to help more people into accommodation.

Solo Housing's 'Lodgings Scheme' has recently launched in Colchester, with a dedicated Lodging Officer to match single people with suitable lodgings.

The scheme launched in October 2018 helps to place a single person looking for somewhere affordable to live, with a landlord who can offer a spare room in their home.

Lodgings can benefit both parties- by increasing the amount of available and affordable accommodation in the area, enabling more people to find a suitable and affordable place to live. The scheme also provides expert advice to potential landlords, helping to generate an additional income from any unused rooms and providing ongoing help and support if needed.

Colchester Borough Homes Chief Executive, Gareth Mitchell said: "It is important for us to be innovative when looking for ways to address the housing need in Colchester. This new lodging scheme is a great way of generating more available rooms, which will give people on the housing register a new place to live.

"Landlords who join the scheme may benefit from an additional tax-free income. I would recommend anyone who has a spare room to get in contact to take advantage of the advice and support on offer."

The scheme is unique in that Solo Housing takes great care to match a client to a Landlord accurately to help ensure that the process is as trouble free as possible. Lodgings Officers interview both the person looking for assistance and the potential landlords to ensure a good match.

Nicki, Solo Housing Lodgings and Shared Housing Manager explains: "There are many reasons why people come to us for help with accommodation. They may have lost their job or been re-located, suffered a relationship breakdown, a partner or family member has died/fallen ill leading to the loss of their home, and many other social factors which can affect any one unexpectedly. People that come to us for assistance need advice on how to best manage their situation. Solo Housing offers an alternative solution for someone to have a bed to sleep in".

"The lodgings scheme with Solo Housing is very successful. We meet with all parties involved which enables us to fully understand their situation and what they are seeking to achieve via a Lodgings solution.

"This is a completely free service and neither party is under any obligation. Lodgings may also provide the household with extra tax-free income and other social support or mutual benefit, and Solo offers ongoing advice to both parties"

Individuals are referred to Solo Housing by Colchester Borough Homes. Many hundreds of single people have been helped through the scheme in other areas over the years.

If you are a Council tenant who has a spare room through under occupancy you could also potentially earn an extra income from renting your spare room. However, this must be approved by your Housing Officer and it could affect your benefit amount.