Run in partnership with Catch 22 and Thames Reach, Peer Landlord seeks to provide a good quality, affordable and supportive shared housing option that simply isn’t there otherwise.

Commonweal is pleased to publish the initial results of an internal reflections report on our Peer Landlord project.

The Commonweal Peer Landlord Model: A Replication Learning Guide outlines our experience and key learning from the Peer Landlord pilot to date as we look to test new innovative solutions to social injustice.  Developed mainly for internal reflection, the report includes details of key metrics for the pilot project focused on tenancy sustainability, move on and engagement with employment, education and training.

Central to this guide are a series of key learning points developed from the valuable insight from five years of the Peer Landlord pilot, including lessons around income collection, selection of tenants, encouraging move on from the project and, crucially, what it means to be supportive.

Peer Landlord works by charging a genuinely affordable rent, driven by the LHA shared room whilst aiming to keep costs to a minimum by limiting management intervention.  A nominated ‘peer landlords’ tenant within each property takes on certain responsibilities, and acts as the doorway to the house for a property manager from our project partners. Together the nominated peer landlord and property manager provide a supportive, not supported, environment for our tenants. Many of those on the project are engaged in low paid, insecure work and may be in receipt of benefits. Through Peer Landlords, they live independently in a shared house, just as in the PRS, but there is a supportive safety net there if needed.

At the heart of the project is the vision that Peer Landlord provides a stable supportive environment for its tenants. The model isn’t a PRS access scheme, nor is it cheap supported housing. The role of the peer landlord (“PL”), as one nominated individual in each household, is to facilitate, with input from Thames Reach and Catch22, the supportive (not supported) nature of this housing solution.

Currently at stage two on the Commonweal strategic project framework, Peer Landlord has demonstrated this supportive nature has a positive impact, enabling individuals to enjoy more flexibility whilst helping them to build resilience as they look to progress. For many, despite the supportive safety net of Peer Landlord providing a solid foundation for support if and when they need it, the awareness that a safety net is there means that hardly any of the Peer Landlord tenants actually need to use it.

Moving forward, Commonweal will look to share the wealth of knowledge and learning we have accumulated, with a view to seeing other such projects address an injustice which is having such a profound effect all over the country.

The Commonweal Peer Landlord Model: A Replication Learning Guide can be viewed here.

For further details on the Peer Landlord project please contact Matthew Wale on MatthewW@commonweal.org.uk