C~urb PSL wins national housing industry award
C~urb, part of the Link Group of companies, has won the Excellence in the Private Rented Sector category of the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland Awards 2022.
The award showcases landlords and letting agents who have excelled in customer service and innovation. C~urb PSL (Private Sector Leasing) leases properties from private landlords and manages them on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council which refers households in need of rapid access to housing.
Colin Culross, C~urb’s Group commercial director, said: “I am absolutely delighted C~urb PSL has received national recognition for the innovative and important work we do.
“This award for C~urb PSL is down to the hard work, dedication, and creativity of staff not just at C~urb but across the Link group of companies and the City of Edinburgh Council, which funds the scheme.”
Councillor Jane Meagher, housing, homelessness and fair work convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, added: “Our Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan sets out our aim to increase the number of self-contained properties for use as temporary accommodation. The Private Sector Leasing scheme is one of a number of projects we have to increase the number of homes available to people experiencing homelessness. Thanks to our partnership work with C-urb we now have nearly 1,800 properties helping those most in need and I’m delighted this scheme has received national recognition.”
As well as leasing properties from private landlords, Link Group also purchases properties to lease through the scheme, to further alleviate homelessness, with 200 already purchased and a further 100 committed to.
An annual Landlord Survey gauges satisfaction and highlights areas for improvement. A total of 92% of landlords were satisfied with C~urb PSL in 2021/22.
A graduate trainee and a modern apprentice were recruited as part of our commitment to community benefits in procurement and have gained valuable experience through a range of tasks, helping improve timescales and communication.
Landlords are now offered an annual update and video walkthrough during void periods.
Procedures regarding anti-social behaviour have been improved thanks to additional training provided for staff through the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Working with Link Group partner LinkLiving, C~urb PSL funds a dedicated Housing Support Officer and an Employability Support Officer to offer tenants individual assessments and bespoke assistance. To date, the Housing Support Officer provided tailored support to 233 PSL tenants whilst the Employability Support Officer provided further assistance to 78 tenants.
Their work includes helping tenants with foodbank and fuel referral vouchers, advice on welfare benefits including appeals, applications and calculations, debt advice and support, mental health assistance, and help with employability and well-being.
C~urb PSL works with LinkLiving to provide an outreach and advice service for tenants, giving them practical assistance with maintaining a tenancy and improving their circumstances.
A tenant well-being scheme providing social, digital and employability support is also available to C~urb PSL tenants through LinkLiving. Social cafes provide a space for tenants to increase their confidence as well as receive support from third-party organisations. Thanks to a partnership with Connecting Scotland, 30 tenants received iPads and visited MiFi units to assist with employability as well as improving digital skills.
Feedback from tenants and landlords
“Thank you so much for the iPad. I never had something like this before. I’ll be able to apply for jobs and do some training courses online.” – PSL tenant
“I honestly can’t stress enough that the lifeline you guys have offered me has saved my well-being so much over these latest few months. This has all worked out beyond what I could have hoped for in this. I feel very fortunate to have so many amazing people to give me their time and offer such services.” – PSL tenant
“C~urb PSL has been a great help to me in my time staying in the accommodation I’ve been provided. They provide fuel top-ups when I’m low on cash, help with urgent repairs or other issues in the property and make me feel supported and at ease.” – C~urb PSL tenant
“The rent is always paid on time with no void periods, and any repairs or maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and efficiently by their excellent team. I also have peace of mind that they regularly inspect the properties and ensure that they are compliant with all the regulations. It could not be easier.” – C~urb PSL landlord
The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland Awards 2022 took place on Thursday, October 27, in Glasgow.