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How to tackle homelessness? This Fife organisation opens the door to safe and ethical housing

Facing a housing emergency? This charity can help.

Happy couple sitting in a new home with boxes.
Get to know the ethical letting agent preventing homelessness in Fife.

Unfortunately, homelessness and housing insecurity are on the rise throughout Scotland and the UK. Learn how this Fife organisation is working to help people access safe housing and avoid the streets.

Fife charity launches website to help sustain accommodation, prevent homelessness and provide vital support

According to the Scottish Government, the end of 2023 saw 20,144 applicants for homelessness. Of those, 16,420 were assessed as homeless, a 4% increase from the previous four months.

Trust in Fife, ethical letting agent and homelessness charity, reports that over six-month period 1 April to 30 September 2023, there have been increases in the number of: homelessness applications; households assessed as homeless; open homelessness applications; and households in temporary accommodation, compared to the same period in 2022.

This is the second year in a row increases have been experienced across all these measures. As at 30 September 2023, open applications and households in temporary accommodation reached the highest in the time series from 2003 and 2002, respectively.

Indeed, the cost of living crisis, the aftermath of a pandemic and other factors have contributed to a difficult situation for people in Scotland.

That’s why the work of Trust in Fife is more important than ever.

What is an ethical letting agent?

Happy couple with keys in new home.
The agents at Trust in Fife’s ethical letting agent provide a full comprehensive support service.

Trust in Fife was established as a resource and ethical letting agent; an organisation aiming to prevent homelessness and assist in providing access to sustainable accommodation in the Private Rented Sector.

With the recent launch of its new private rental solutions website, Trust in Fife also supports tenants and landlords with problem solving solutions for any housing issues related to private rented properties.

Caroline McCall, chief executive office CEO of Trust in Fife, said: “Since our registration as a letting agent in September 2023, the team have been working hard to build a new website to promote their service and have been creating and launching a number of new services to help people in Fife who live in the private rented sector, maintain their accommodation, helping to prevent homelessness. The team also support landlords and letting agents to do the same.”

So, what makes Trust in Fife an ethical letting agent?

Caroline said: “We provide comprehensive and fair support. We will work with any person that comes through our door – no matter what circumstance may bring them there.

“What makes us different is the two sides we offer. Someone may come to us in crisis, either a tenant or a landlord, and we can do a lot more than just help get rent back. We make sure that people are comfortable and can afford to reside where they are residing.”

She continued: “We address a range of issues, offer advice and we don’t charge a lot for our services.”

All staff at Trust in Fife are qualified in health and social care and even undergo Shelter advice training to be sure they approach each matter from a place of compassion.

Caroline emphasised that the organisation works towards preventing poverty in the private rented sector and ensuring that people have what they require (goods, finances, guidance, housing support) to allow them to successfully live in a property.

Caroline emphasised that the organisation seeks to help as many people as possible by providing temporary accommodation, housing support on a one-to-one basis, or by hosting workshops that foster independent living skills, money management, healthy cooking and living, and social inclusion.

At Trust in Fife, support extends beyond shelter, guiding clients through the entire process.

Facing a housing emergency? Trust in Fife can help

Woman making heart hands with key.
Trust in Fife works to keep people in the homes in which they currently reside – safely and fairly.

Trust in Fife’s newly launched FPRS (Fife Private Rental Solutions) scheme offers a full range of services for people in need of assistance.

For landlords, FPRS are now offering a number of paid services, from one-off services to let only and full letting management services. As a non-profit agency, rates are competitive and there are even a number of free services available too. These range from general advice and guidance regarding the private rented sector, issue resolution and tenancy assistance, landlord and tenant mediation and rent resolution.

For tenants, FPRS offer free services, from general advice to guidance, help with tenancy sustainment, issue resolution and tenancy assistance, rent resolution, advanced income maximisation and the deposit assistance services.

For letting agencies, FPRS have also created services for letting agencies, like a free bespoke service to help their tenants sustain their tenancy. The team can help with tenancy assistance, advanced income maximisation, rent resolution, agent and tenant mediation and the new deposit assistance service.

Now, FPRS is proud to offer a new deposit assistance service, with two schemes available to access depending on a persons financial situation.

One of these is the Advanced Income Maximisation (AIM) service which can look at increasing the income of any client in a private let or looking to obtain a private let.

Since July 2022 FPRS have assisted 66 clients increase their income with a total awarded backdate in benefits of £95,384.10 and an increase in their monthly to all £27,371.63.

Another service offered is the Rent Resolution Service (RRS) which will assist when a tenant falls into rent arrears. This includes mediation, manageable payment plans and sourcing grants available to clear the arrears, all aimed at keeping the tenant in the property.

When speaking of all the services and resources available from Trust in Fife, Caroline summarised: “This has come at an important time in Fife, with Fife declaring a housing emergency earlier in the year. Trust in Fife will do all it can to support Fife Council through this emergency by working towards making the private rented sector a long term, sustainable and affordable housing option.”

Are you or is someone you know in need of support? Are you interested in volunteering or learning more about preventing homelessness in Scotland? Learn more about Trust in Fife today.