Swindon Borough Council is looking for new landlords to rent their properties to the town's homeless.

The housing team is seeking more private sector leasing properties. These are privately-owned properties that are leased by the council in order to house people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Guaranteed rent that is paid in advance is offered by the council as well as an accommodation officer which is attached to every property who will inspect regularly to make sure the property remains in good condition.

Cllr Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “Our priority is to keep people safe.

“In order to do that, we need to make sure that we have enough housing for those who are homeless.

“We always look for ways we can prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

“But if we need to house people who are homeless, we need to have homes available to house them.

“At the moment, we are looking for one-bedroom or studio flats to be able to house those in need, rather than use B&Bs which are generally much more expensive.

“Our housing team have a close working relationship with landlords and we are keen to expand and develop that further.

“So, if you can help, we would love to hear from you.”

The council leases just over 200 properties but is currently short of one-bed homes for singles and couples and are looking to take on 10 new one-bed or studio flats.

Swindon Night Shelter, which operates in St Mary’s Church Hall, offers homeless people a hot meal, fresh clothes, a shower, a bed for the night as well as food to take away if needed.

Becky Davison, manager of the shelter, said: “From our point of view, the landlords need to feel safe.

“Most of our guests would make excellent tennants one they’re back on track.

“They would be very good and very grateful for a fresh start.

“Council houses are often in places that can be challenging for our residents but a new, nicer area would be a great help.

“Once they move on we try to help our guests get settled in properties. We make sure they have all the housing help, if their benefits are sorted and we help them get food.

“Everyone needs the opportunity for a fresh start.”