Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Charities join forces to house the homeless

April 09 2012
Low-rent ‘peer landlord’ scheme will help formerly homeless people get back to work


Commonweal Housing and Thames Reach have announced plans to work together on a new project designed to encourage ex-homeless people back into work.

The two charities will join forces to provide “Peer Landlord London” schemes, offering low-priced accommodation to those struggling to get back on their feet. Approximately seven housing schemes will be launched across London, with two already underway. According to, rent prices will start at £75 per week, ideal for those on minimum wage or apprentice positions.

The project is part of the Government’s move to extend the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR), which sees those aged 35 or under get lower room rents. It is hoped that the scheme will significantly improve the quality of life for ex-homeless people.

Under each scheme, one of the tenants is appointed “peer landlord” and is responsible for providing extra advice and support to others in the home. Peer landlords will all receive extra training on a range of topics including employment and housing policy.

Thames Reach’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Swain, said: “Many former homeless people find themselves among the ranks of the unskilled and long-term unemployed. Though much has changed in terms of attitudes and priorities in the homelessness sector, it remains the case that the number of former homeless people in work remains depressingly low.”

A recent survey by Thames Reach showed that 70 per cent of service users wanted to work, though only 10 per cent were actually in employment.

Meanwhile, Commonweal are also rolling out another scheme, the “Peer Landlord” project, which collaborates with Catch 22, a programme specifically designed for the 16-25 age group. Commonweal Housing Chief Executive, Ashley Horsey, said: “We are very pleased to be working with both Thames Reach and Catch 22 on this innovative Peer Landlord scheme.”