“People with mental health problems who rent privately simply aren’t getting enough support and timely access to services to maintain their tenancy and live well in their own homes,” says Catherine May, manager of Tyfu Tai Cymru, a five-year housing policy project based in Wales.
To raise awareness of the issue, the Tyfu Tai Cymru project, part of CIH Cymru, released research examining the support available for private landlords who have tenants with mental health problems in Wales. The report was launched at an event at the National Assembly for Wales, which was attended by politicians and media organisations.
The research was made all the more impactful by the testimony of a mother who is currently living with her children in temporary accommodation after losing her tenancy in the private rented sector. She spoke about the impact of this instability on her mental health. “Everyone deserves to feel secure in their home,” she says.
It is also evident that private landlords often don’t feel well equipped in managing a tenancy where someone has a mental health problem.
Earlier this year, the Tyfu Tai Cymru project published a report examining the support available for private landlords who have tenants with mental health problems in Wales. Tyfu Tai Cymru identified this topic as a priority for its research and policy-influencing work. It worked with another local organisation, Tai Pawb, to gather the views of support organisations and private landlords on how to better support people living with mental health problems in the private rented sector.
The report makes a series of practical recommendations which were accepted by the Welsh Government on the day of publication. Tyfu Tai Cymru asked the government to provide comprehensive information for landlords and letting agents regarding mental health support. It also asked for better cooperation between crisis services and landlords, so people do not lose their tenancies if they need to stay in hospital for a while for treatment.
Tyfu Tai Cymru means “Growing Homes Wales”. It is a five-year housing policy project that focuses on providing insightful analysis and on filling evidence gaps to support policy progression. The project is managed by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru. Tyfu Tai Cymru works across three key strands: building the right homes to meet demand; making sure housing is always a priority for local government; and demonstrating housing’s role in keeping people well and healthy.
This grant falls under Oak’s Housing and Homelessness Programme (HHP), which focuses on preventing homelessness by funding sustainable solutions that improve the economic and social wellbeing of marginalised youth, adults and families. Part of HHP’s strategy is to prevent homelessness by: identifying groups who are at greater risk of homelessness and encouraging early intervention and support.