Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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New initiative to fund homeless accommodation

December 08 2010
Cost-effective rent deposit scheme rolled out

A recent innovative initiative devised by the Glasgow Rent Deposit and Support Scheme (GRDSS) is aiming to alter the way in which homeless accommodation provision is paid for. GRDSS is the longest running Rent Deposit Scheme across Scotland – it helps to provide homeless or potentially homeless households access to high-quality private rented accommodation across Glasgow by working in collaboration with landlords in the private sector.

Indeed, the support scheme currently works alongside 63 private sector landlords and provides tenancies for over 320 people each year. Since its formation 17 years ago, this highly dedicated charity has achieved a high success rate, with 82 per cent of clients continuing their own tenancy following withdrawal from the support services.

Recently, however, there has been a noted increase in the demand for the type of accommodation that the GRDSS is able to provide. Unfortunately, due to the recent economic downturn, Glasgow City Council – the principal funding agent for the charity - was unable to increase the budget for the scheme, which effectively meant that the charity could simply not cater for as many clients as it wished to.

Anxious to meet the demand for a greater number of flats, and not fall foul of the council's budgetary restrictions, GRDSS created its own, unique method of paying for the expansion. In the last couple of years, the charity has established and begun an innovative partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors to create a financial input allowing GRDSS to help more people per year by providing an increased amount of privately-let accommodation.

Essentially, this financial input from partner landlords is linked to each property used and the net result is that the unit cost to the city council reduces with every new private sector property utilised for a homeless person. Significantly, it has proved to be a very cost-effective service.

The charity recently provided Glasgow City Council with a five-year strategic development plan which illustrated how the cost, per unit, of housing potential homeless people within the private rented sector can be reduced.

Ian Robertson, director of GRDSS, said: "In light of the very recent budget reduction figures for local authorities announced by the Scottish government, we are anxious to accelerate our service expansion and consequent unit cost savings to the City Council. Indeed, we feel that there can be no reason why our initiative cannot be applied by other council's across Scotland and we have written to Alex Neil, Scottish Housing Minister, advising him of our initiative."

Mr Robertson, who strongly believes that the public purse will benefit from implementing the initiative added: "Surely the GRDSS model of reducing the unit cost to councils through the creation of a private, public and third sector partnership is exactly what the public purse requires at this moment in time."


• For further information about GDRSS and their services, please contact: 0141 550 7140