AN officer working to prevent home-lessness in Middlewich is calling for private sector landlords to help find extra properties to house people.
Tina Roche, Congleton Borough Council's private sector liaison officer, has been appointed to help prevent people becoming homeless, build close relations with private sector landlords and improve housing options for residents.
She said: 'Since April 2004, local authorities have been instructed by the Government not to use bed and breakfasts for the temporary re-housing of families with children, except in unforeseen emergency situations and only for a very limited period.
'It is not always possible to place families or individuals who have become homeless into housing association properties, so we desperately need to find alternative solutions. We believe private sector landlords can help us in this aim.
'There is much to achieve and the response from those landlords I have contacted to date has been very positive. I'm really looking forward to working with landlords to help us combat homelessness.'
Ms Roche's appointment was part of the wider Cheshire Landlord Links scheme, which has won around £20,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government's Homeless Innovation Fund. It aims to establish:
* A Deposit Guarantee Scheme, which will allow the council to give potentially homeless people a down-payment on a house.
* A landlord accreditation scheme.
* A Private Sector Leasing scheme.
Additional responsibilities will include working with the local landlords' forum, working with landlords and tenants on the legalities surrounding notices and possession proceedings and advising them of legislative or other developments relating to landlord and tenant law.
If you are a landlord of a private property in Middlewich who wants more information, contact Tina Roche on 01270 769225 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.