After 10 years of partnership working with West Lothian Council, the Cyrenians Smartmove service will officially close at the end of March 2014.
Many people in West Lothian recognise the Smartmove name as somewhere that supports families and single people to access the private rented sector in times of housing need, alleviating and preventing homelessness.
A unique relationship between Cyrenians, West Lothian Housing and Revenues teams and West Lothian Landlords enabled this service to reach great levels of success during a decade of operation.
Smartmove offered a written guarantee that deposits would be saved by the tenant over the initial term of the tenancy. Landlords could claim against the deposit if difficulties arose. Approximately 600-1000 enquires were received and around 100-120 tenancies were created during each year of operation.
Recent changes associated with welfare reform are placing greater demands upon local authorities and the private rented sector. Housing access services like Smartmove will be fundamental to enabling access and preventing homelessness. West Lothian Council are committed to ensuring that people in housing need have access to the help they require.
From 31st March 2014 people in housing need who would like help to access the private rented sector should contact West Lothian Housing Options team on 01506 280 000 where, if appropriate, a referral can be made to West Lothian Home Choice.