A scheme providing homeless people with housing in St Albans District was showcased at the national conference of homeless charity Crisis last week.

Delegates heard that the St Albans Rent Secure Scheme has helped 58 tenants find homes since launching in 2012.

The scheme is run jointly by St Albans City and District Council and the Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association. Crisis provided funding for the first two years of the scheme, while the council produced match funding for the first year.

It helps single people or couples who are homeless or at risk of homelessness access private rented accommodation in St Albans District by guaranteeing their rent deposits.

Councillor Brian Ellis, portfolio holder for housing at St Albans City and District Council, said: "This project has gone from strength to strength and is now receiving national recognition for the work it is doing in helping homeless people find homes.

"Crisis was so impressed with St Albans Rent Secure Scheme that it invited the project team to give a presentation at the charity’s national conference. Other councils and housing associations around the country may now be inspired to work together on similar projects."

The project team is employed by Hightown and based at the Council’s offices. It helps match tenants with landlords and conducts safety inspections of the properties let. It also provides landlords with background checks on tenants, quarterly checks on their properties and inventories of contents.

David Bogle, chief executive of Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association, said: "By matching an individual with a suitable property the St Albans Rent Secure Scheme has taken the risk out of letting for landlords. It provides a bond guarantee in place of a cash deposit and the project team helps the tenant to maintain the tenancy. It has been another excellent example of partnership working between Hightown and the Council."