During 2012 and 2013 it became clear that many new tenancies were failing. This became so extreme that during financial year 2013/14 no new tenancies allocated to young people aged 18-23 were sustained to the point of conversion to an assured tenancy at 12 months.
Management problems, anti-social behaviour and an inability to afford to pay rent were among the main reasons for tenancy failure. Whilst young people were most likely to be unable to sustain their tenancies it was shown that housing applicants with substance misuse problems, vulnerabilities and those who made poor lifestyle choices also had a higher risk of their tenancy failing.
In June 2014 the post of Tenancy Support Co-Ordinator was created within the Support & Intervention Team with the purpose of carrying out risk-based pre-tenancy work with applicants. Using a targeted approach the Tenancy Support Co-Ordinator works only with those applicants deemed to be at greatest risk of tenancy failure. This allows livin to identify applicants who require additional support or who may not yet be tenancy ready.
Once a tenancy is allocated, those in greatest need of additional support will be regularly visited by the Tenancy Support Coordinator or referred to external specialist support agencies. Any management problems are quickly identified and addressed before they pose a risk to the tenancy.
Using this holistic approach to tenancy management and sustainability we are able to provide advice to our customers from the moment they apply to join our housing register. This has been so successful that in 2015/16 only 1.37% of new supported tenancies failed. The role of the Tenancy Support Coordinator was recognised by the Scrutiny Group as having a direct impact on the increased sustainability of vulnerable tenancies, particularly those under 12 months.