People who live in council and housing association homes currently make up over a quarter of people who do not use the internet. From today their landlords will be able to bid for a share of £400,000 of government funding for innovative programmes to provide low cost internet access and improve tenants’ motivation to go online. Successful bidding landlords will have to match government funding with their own money, pound for pound, therefore doubling the total pot to £800,000.
Launched today the Digital Deal is a cross-government scheme expected to get more social tenants online and spread the benefits of digital living - from finding out about local services and schools for children to applying for jobs and managing benefit claims online.
Communities Minister Don Foster said:
“The internet is a huge force for good for the majority of people who use it but for too long there has also been a left out minority that includes many social tenants. The government wants everyone to see the massive range of benefits of getting online - from looking for jobs and accessing local services to keeping in touch with friends and family.
“The funding we are announcing today will help many more social tenants get online - not all of them nor overnight, but this is another important step towards making this country one of the most digitally inclusive in the world.”
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are providing £400,000 for this programme. Social landlords have until 3 June to submit bids, with the winners announced in the summer. The initiative will be run by Online Centres Foundation
Further details of the ‘Digital Deal’ can be found in the DWP press notice and on the digital housing hub.