TAMWORTH Linkages’ program Rent It Keep It has been well received by participants.
Fourteen people who have trouble keeping their tenancy, setting themselves up, or even just understanding their rights and responsibilities as tenants, were given a helping hand at the one-day course designed to explain in simple terms how to be a good renter.
Rent It Keep It program coordinator Anne Wolfenden said the program was also designed to provide a leg up to people stuck in the cycle of homelessness.
“Homelessness is actually quite a big problem in Tamworth,” Ms Wolfenden said.
“The course was aimed particularly at people who have signed up to other programs that need a bit more support.”
Ms Wolfenden said at the moment there were no less than 36 people signed up to programs with Tamworth Linkages struggling to find and keep permanent housing.
“Thirteen of the people in the program at the moment have a criminal record and that adds another level of difficulty when trying to rent,” she said.
“In addition to this course, which teaches them how to be a good tenant, they are participating in other programs designed to help them find and keep employment, resolve old or bad debts and supports living independently.
“By educating these people we are helping to prevent them from re-offending, which is often one of the biggest issues associated with homelessness.”
The Rent It Keep It program covers everything from what real estate agents expect to how to read and negotiate a tenancy agreement and ensuring you look after the property.
“One of the most valuable exercises in the program was showing participants how to budget and ensure they stay on top of things,” Ms Wolfenden said.
One of the biggest problems faced by people needing support to rent – whether they be mentally ill, disabled or on a pension – was knowing what to do if something went wrong.
“The aim of the course is to give the skills and the education to be able to help themselves to a point if and when they need to. Renting can be hard for anyone, let alone some one who is at a disadvantage from the get-go,“ Mrs Wolfenden said.