Blueprint for Social Housing Furniture Provision Published

A detailed guide to help all social landlords provide furniture and white goods to their tenants is published today by End Furniture Poverty

The Blueprint for Furniture Provision in Social Housing is a step-by-step guide to help landlords to understand how a furnished tenancy can work, how to recoup the capital outlay through the service charge, and how to ensure that they can support their tenants who could otherwise be living without essential furniture items.

End Furniture Poverty are holding a webinar on Friday, 18th November, 10.30am to 11.30am, to talk through the steps outlined in the Blueprint. Ian Fyfe, Furnished Tenancy Manager from Torus, and Paul Aitkin, Group Commercial Manager at Karbon Homes, will also be sharing best practice from furnished tenancy schemes. Emailinfo@EndFurniturePoverty.org to register to attend.

Claire Donovan, Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns for End Furniture Poverty, said: “We have been supporting social landlords who are interested in furnished tenancies for several years, helping them to prepare business cases and also raising awareness of the huge benefits furnished tenancies can offer both tenants and landlords.

“Thanks to funding from the Fusion21 Foundation, we have been able to take this to a new level by compiling this detailed guide, speaking to dozens of social landlords and putting together a compelling case for every social landlord to provide essential furniture to their tenants.”

The Blueprint examines the different ways furniture can be provided, through more traditional furnished tenancies, and also separate furniture rental agreements. It provides information on operations, staffing, data strategy and performance measurement, lots of information on the service change and benefits, and a full financial modelling section.

The Blueprint is freely available on End Furniture Poverty’s website, and the team are also available to work with landlords to help them to develop their plans for furniture provision.

Claire said: “Millions of people are living in Furniture Poverty in the UK, living without essential furniture items. It has a devastating impact on their mental and physical health, and their social and financial wellbeing. It can lead to increased rental arrears as tenants turn to high cost credit to access basic items like a cooker, a fridge or a bed, and as the cost of living crisis continues, the situation is only going to get worse.

“Furnished tenancies are not only the right thing to offer to tenants, they also make sense for the landlord and as our Blueprint shows through the case studies with landlords already offering furniture, there are some great benefits for landlords with reduced churn, reduced void costs, reduced rental arrears and much more.”

End Furniture Poverty examined the extent of furniture provision in social housing in No Place like Home, a report published in 2021 which showed that only 2% of socially rented properties were let as fully or partly furnished, compared to 29% in the private rental sector. They hope that this is now changing as more landlords recognise the benefits of furnished tenancies, especially as other types of furniture support, such as local authority local welfare schemes, become harder to access as statutory budgets face further cuts.

Please join us at our webinar on November 18th, or alternatively, End Furniture Poverty are happy to meet with any landlords to offer one-to-one support. Just get in touch to find out more by emailing info@endfurniturepoverty.org

 

 

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