Residents in east Suffolk will be able to have increased access to the private rented sector, along with lower rents, under a scheme set up by a council.

East Suffolk Lettings is being set up by the district council to increase access to rental accommodation and minimise the use of temporary homes.

The new lettings partnership will encourage landlords to work with the council by charging a lower rent and the council will offer a financial incentive based on the difference between the rent that could have been charged and the actual rate.

READ MORE: Hundreds of Ipswich households at risk of homelessness

A Guaranteed Rent Scheme will also be operated, which will guarantee the rent is paid on time each month and will provide support to the tenant to ensure the tenancy is managed appropriately.

This will include completing inventories, thrice-monthly home visits to check on the condition of the property, support with benefit claims and managing utilities.

David Beavan, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, said: “Many more people face homelessness this year as private rents rocket, mortgages soar and landlords look to sell.

"After a slow building programme and right to buy sales, we sadly just do not have the houses to offer to prevent or relieve homelessness, which is our statutory duty.

READ MORE: IPSWICH: Secret to town's strong record on homelessness

"This imaginative letting policy, devised by our great housing team, will certainly help.

"Any homeless person housed is a victory but the war against the housing crisis continues unabated. We must find a way to provide more homes that people can afford to live in."

The scheme is funded through the Homelessness Prevention Grant, received from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHC) and is offered on a two-year pilot basis and will become a permanent service if it proves a success.

Earlier this month, the EADT revealed data from the DLHC which showed 1.19 households per 1,000 in east Suffolk were at risk of homelessness, below the national average of 1.33 households.