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Nesta’s ShareLab Fund

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by Startacus Admin

nesta sharelab
Continuing our series of business articles relating to homelessness and vulnerable people, we take a look at two social good platforms focused on housing. These platforms are both benefiting from funding from Nesta’s ShareLab Fund, a fund supporting organisations to develop and test business models that make an impact on social issues.

A look at Fairbnb

FairbnbWith 78,180 families and 120,170 children in temporary accommodation in the UK, this initiative aims to prevent homelessness before it happens. Fairbnb finds homeowners with room to spare and a willingness to put up a family between the time they lose their housing and the time they can move into new accommodation - usually 6-8 weeks.

So far Fairbnb has been piloted in Croydon, London, with great success, and now will use the £25,000 from Nesta’s ShareLab Fund to take their initiative online, where homeowners can register, increasing options available to Fairbnb. While the most important thing is that the pilot was successful and the hosts wanted to do it again, Fairbnb also found that this kind of placement could save Croydon Council over £1m a year on their current method of giving temporary accommodation to homeless families.

A look at HomePointr

homepointr logoIn Scotland in 2016 and 2017, there was £90m in lost rent due to seemingly low demand for properties. In reality, this is because it is currently so difficult for referral agencies to be aware of the full range of housing opportunities available - an issue which adds to bed blocking in the NHS, which costs the service £900m per year.

Falkirk-based HomePointr saw the issues faced by referral agencies trying to find housing options for homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland, and they decided they could streamline the process for both the agencies and the housing providers. With access to an online platform, these agencies will save a lot of time searching for suitable housing options, and landlords will be more likely to receive reliable tenants and not have their properties sitting empty. With £29,500 in funding from Nesta, HomePointr will be able to expand and improve their service to ensure more homeless and vulnerable people are found the accommodation they need.

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Published on: 22nd April 2018

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