The RLA’s partnership project with Tai Pawb, Open Doors turns two years old next month. With the second birthday rapidly approaching, Open Doors project manager Nazia Azad-Warren takes a look back at what the project has achieved so far.
Open Doors is a unique partnership project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales. It was set up as a two year scheme operating in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Merthyr Tydfil, in a bid to reduce discrimination and mistreatment in the sector. We work with both landlords and tenants to ensure that each side are aware of their rights and responsibilities and can access support should they need it.
Our award winning project has increased equality and diversity awareness across the sector through our equality guides, training modules, training days, landlord and tenant champions and our Equality and Diversity training in partnership with Rent Smart Wales.
Over the course of the last two years, I’m proud to say that with the help of the RLA, we have made a huge difference to the sector. To this date, we have had 179 landlords reporting to us that they ‘feel more confident in letting to diverse tenants following engagement with the project’.
The rapid expansion of the private rented sector coupled with legislative changes, and lack of social housing supply has meant that the private rented sector is now being accessed by a wide range of diverse people than ever before.
The consequence of this, is that private sector landlords now require additional support in ensuring that all tenants, including diverse and vulnerable tenants, have their needs met by the sector and get good levels of service.[
[Captions main picture: The Open Doors Team at the CIH Wales Housing Awards last year, with RLA Director for Wales Douglas Haig and policy officer Mathew Norman. Captions below picture: Nazia is pictured centre left with the rest of the Open Doors team and BBC Wales present Lucy Owen, at the RLA’s Future Renting Wales conference last year.]
To assist landlords with the above and ensure that they have positive tenancies, we have worked in partnership with the RLA to produce a free Equality and Diversity e-learning module which can be accessed here.
You can follow updates from the Open Doors project including news and events by heading over the Open Doors twitter feed here. If anyone has an equality and diversity query that you would like our help with, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07388 220 388/ www.opendoors.wales / @OpenDoorsTP / www.facebook.com/OpendoorsTP.
Looking for more news relating to the private rented sector in Wales? Check out the Wales news pages here.