An attempt to promote equality and diversity in the private rental sector in Wales has been given a £249,425 lottery grant.
The Open Doors project, devised and run by Tai Pawb, is a two year scheme intended to provide tenants, landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector skills and confidence to prevent racism and discrimination.
Cash for the project was delivered from the Big Lottery People and Places Fund. This scheme will support and advise awareness of key rights and responsibilities amongst private tenants from diverse groups. This include migrants, LGBT or disabled tenants, who are more at risk of experiencing certain tenancy issues.
In addition, Open Doors will receive assistance from the Residential Landlords Association to improve agents and landlords’ ability deal with equality and diversity issues.
Alicja Zalesinska, director of Tai Pawb, noted: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the People and Places Grant. It will not only enable us to support and empower some of the most vulnerable private sector tenants dealing with difficult housing issues but also guide and raise awareness amongst landlords who house them in times of unprecedented housing pressures, rising inequality and poverty.’
‘The overwhelming majority of landlords we spoke to wanted additional support on equality issues. That’s why it was so important for us to develop something that will work with both groups, empowering them to act to prevent discrimination and mistreatment in the sector. We look forward to the coming months where we will be recruiting staff and setting up this vital project.’
Charity project in Wales awarded lottery funding
Run alongside the RLA in Wales, the Open Doors project will be delivered in Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan and Merthyr Tydfil regions.
Dougals Haig, vice-chairman and RLA director for Wales, observed: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to support the diversity of the private rented sector and its ability to house those with a range of diverse and complex needs.’
‘We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Tai Pawb and the Big Lottery and raise awareness of some of the issues that can be faced by those that they support and how small changes and a little bit of education of landlords and tenants can create long term sustainable tenancies. I believe it will further show how the private rented sector is helping house a huge range of needs in safe and secure homes,’ he added.