New social enterprise centre to help private renters

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Housing minister Kevin Stewart and Homes for Good Director Susan Aktemel

The Homes For Good hub in Glasgow is the first in Scotland dedicated to helping private renters 

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31st January 2017 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A centre dedicated to help private tenants tackle problems with their landlords has opened in Glasgow.

Social enterprise landlord Homes For Good has opened the hub in its new offices in the city’s Bridgeton Main Street.

It will offer regular drop-in sessions for tenants on subjects including housing and fuel poverty, financial inclusion and employability alongside tailored training sessions for local landlords.

Official statistics show that 18% of the population of Glasgow live in private rented accommodation compared to 14% of the Scottish population as a whole now living in the private rented sector. 

However, it is estimated 31% of households living in the Bridgeton area of the city are in the private rented sector and is as much as 40% in the neighbouring Merchant City and Dennistoun areas of the city.

Homes For Good’s new premises have been created by merging two formerly unused shop premises. One of the shops has become its headquarters while the other will house the tenants’ support hub.

“We chose Bridgeton as our new base because of its convenient location but also since so many people living locally are private renters,” Homes for Good director Susan Aktemel said.

“Our ambition is to welcome both our own tenants and the wider community to the new hub and to offer them access to a range of support and advice from our team and a variety of expert partners.”

Established in March 2013, Homes for Good operates as a social business, offering landlords a top-class property service, while reinvesting all profits into helping vulnerable tenants.

The company was named Social Enterprise of the Year at the 2016 Scottish Social Enterprise Awards and went on to win the same accolade at last year’s Scottish Business Awards.

Homes for Good’s new offices were officially opened by the Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart MSP.

He said: "It's important that people looking to live in the private rented sector have access to the right information and advice to find a suitable and affordable good quality home.

“Letting agents have a vital role to play in achieving this and so I very much welcome Homes for Good’s commitment to supporting tenants through a new dedicated advice and information hub.”

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, added: “Creating a dedicated information and advice hub is a fantastic innovation that will benefit tenants and landlords alike.”