Furniture re-use is win-win

A new information booklet encouraging the redistribution of unwanted furniture to low-income families has been launched.

The “Win-Win” handbook marks the first major joint project between the National Housing Federation and the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN). The booklet outlines how social landlords and their tenants can benefit from teaming up with local furniture re-use organisations (FRO).

Under FRN schemes, unwanted but good quality furniture and appliances are collected directly from household doorsteps, local authorities and civic amenity sites. Housing associations can then refer low-income tenants to re-use projects. FROs already help to furnish 750,000 homes a year, saving 90,000 tonnes of useable goods from ending up in landfills in the process.

Since the cost of buying household goods from an FRO is, on average, a third cheaper than buying from a second-hand shop, significant debt can be avoided. Tenants who are free of large debts are less likely to fall behind with their rent and face the threat of eviction. FROs allow tenants who have been homeless, in care or living in temporary accommodation to settle into their new homes quickly.

Paul Smith, Chief Executive of the FRN, said: “Partnership between housing associations and re-use projects is an excellent way to ensure that tenants can have a home rather than just a tenancy. By working together we can reduce people’s debt, help sustain their tenancy and provide an environmentally sustainable service.”

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