Past, Present & Future

Past

The charity's founder, Duncan Cameron, recalls why he decided to set up initially The Cameron Charitable Trust and then Lets for Life.

I set up The Cameron Trust in 2010 as an experiment to see if it were possible to challenge the way this country houses and cares for people with learning disabilities.

At the time, the idea of people being supported in their own homes wasn't new, but there didn't seem to be much supported living actually going on, with most disabled people still living in care homes.

So I bought some properties (5 to begin with) and, with my friends at NewKey in Devon providing the support, let them out to people with learning disabilities.

The project was such a success that I bought more properties and today we have 21. Every time we moved someone new in, the effect on their life was enormous. Tenants who may have had 3 people caring for them 24/7 in a care home, gradually required less care as they settled in and became happier with life. Now, not one of our tenants has more than one support worker 24/7, which is how it should be. This also saves Government a lot of money.

Having let properties to tenants with learning disabilities for 4 years, we had compiled enough data and accounts to allow us to show that this sector can be as attractive as a private let to a landlord, yielding similar long term yields.

There were only 2 problems, as I saw it:

  • Firstly, the extra administration involved when dealing with local authorities. It had taken us a long time to understand how the Housing Benefit and Social Services departments work and I doubted it was something the average private landlord would want to be involved with.
  • Secondly, private landlords had no idea that this market sector existed.

So I set about creating a new project, Lets For Life, to put landlords and tenants in touch and leverage our expertise to alleviate the administration problems. With the help of some of the friends and contacts I had made via The Cameron Trust, we figured out what Lets for Life – our Specialist Letting Agency for learning disabilities - might look like:

  • Not for profit.
  • Internet based, no local offices to save costs.
  • Regional Tenancy Agents from each area provide tenancy support.
  • Call centre model with highly trained housing brokers.
  • Trained staff by LD England.
  • Custom built back office administration system.
  • Our unique Lets for Life tenancy agreement.

Present

We have moved The Cameron Trust properties under the control of Lets for Life to test our software and administration systems.

In December 2017 Lets for Life successfully registered as a Private Registered Provider with Homes England.

Future

Now that we have secured our Private Registered Provider status, we feel it is the right time to launch the company and make the Lets for Life brand known far and wide. Keep an eye out on our social media for dates of our launch. If you would like to find out more now, please get in touch.

Send