Launched this year by The Dispute Service, the UK’s leading provider of insurance based tenancy deposit protection, the Foundation invited bids of up to £20,000 each and was overwhelmed by applications from charities, tenant and landlord groups, local councils, and other organisations.
Commenting on the first round of funding for the Foundation, Chairman Professor Martin Partington said:
“The demand for funding exceeded even our wildest expectations. Despite a limit of £35,000 per round of funding, we received bids totalling almost £500,000. The Trustees endorsed those that were particularly innovative, or had greater reach.”
The Foundation works to advance education amongst landlords and tenants about private rented housing rights and obligations and has £35,000 available in each quarter to fund projects which support this aim. Applications are now open for the second round until 9th September 2014.
Trustee of the TDS Charitable Foundation, Martin Blakey, the Chief Executive of Unipol Student Homes in Leeds said; “It has been a great pleasure to distribute much needed funding to some excellent initiatives in the first round. Many of these projects simply would not have started without the support of the TDS Charitable Foundation. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of each project in the coming months.”
The successful Round 1 bidders and the projects to be funded are as follows:
National Union of Students
The grant is for the delivery of a tenant training programme for students, rolled out through students’ unions across the UK. The training will equip students with the knowledge and understanding they need to make a success of their time in the private rented sector, both during their student careers and beyond; develop a cohort of ‘pathfinders’ in the sector whose knowledge and understanding will spread to others they live and have contact with; improve communication between landlords and tenants; and improve the confidence of student tenants in advocating their rights.
Chartered Institute of Housing
The funding will support a complete revamp of the CIH online information service http://www.housing-rights.info/ to fully cover the private rented sector aimed at both existing and prospective tenants and their advisers. It will be of particular benefit to recent migrants who are often forced into poorer parts of the sector and are unaware of their rights and find it difficult to access advice services.
Caerphilly County Borough Council – Equalities and Welsh Language Team
The project is to produce models of equalities/discrimination guidance for private landlord groups, the National Landlords Association, housing associations, Welsh local government and Citizens Advice Bureaux, which can be adapted to local circumstances.
Guidance document covers the Common Housing Register and equality laws, landlord and tenant case law examples, a ‘know your tenant’ guide, a list of contact details for local and national equalities organisations that landlords and tenants can access for further advice and support.
Wansbeck Citizens Advice Bureau
Wansbeck CAB will be holding sessions with up to two thousand young people and adult learners at around twenty sites inNorthumberland, including the secondary schools, academies and colleges which either have young people who will be shortly thinking about their housing options or young adults who may already be holding a tenancy. The course will enable them to be a better tenant by understanding how to conduct a tenancy and by being better informed as to what they are responsible for and what issues they can raise with their landlord.
The grant will pay for the production and distribution of an engaging “Know Your Rights & Responsibilities” poster and a guide to renters’ rights and responsibilities. The information will communicate current rights and responsibilities under the law and list resources for further help, with space for each local area to list local resources.
Information for Editors
- Professor Partington is available for interview on request
- Full information on the TDS Charitable Foundation, and how to bid, can be found here: http://tdsfoundation.org.uk/