Nine goes into 160,000 as The Homes for Cathy Group ‘does the maths’ on pushing housing associations to work harder on ending homelessness in England.
Following the success of its first conference earlier this year, Homes for Cathy has worked with Crisis to produce a set of nine commitments for associations.
The nine have been developed in consultation with the members of Homes for Cathy and are included in the Crisis Plan to End Homelessness.
Both organisations acknowledge some will be a challenge to achieve, but all are said to offer associations tools to shape policies and practices.
Recent figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show there are 160,000 homeless households in Great Britain, including more than 9,000 people rough sleeping and 42,000 in emergency accommodation.
The Homes for Cathy commitments are:
- To contribute to the development and execution of local authority homelessness strategies
- To operate flexible allocations and eligibility polices which allow individual applicants’ unique sets of circumstances and housing histories to be considered
- To offer constructive solutions to applicants who aren’t deemed eligible for an offer of a home
- To not make homeless any tenant seeking to prevent their homelessness (as defined in the Crisis plan)
- To commit to meeting the needs of vulnerable tenant groups
- To work in partnership to provide a range of affordable housing options which meet the needs of all homeless people in their local communities
- To ensure that properties offered to homeless people are ready to move into
- To contribute to ending migrant homelessness in the areas housing associations operate
- To lobby, challenge and inspire others to support ending homelessness.
David Bogle, chief executive of Hightown Housing Association, said that by joining Homes for Cathy members have already shown a readiness to do more to end homelessness.
“But the nine commitments give them a guide on where to focus their attention.
“With the agreement of their boards, we hope our members will incorporate the commitments into their policies and practices.
“Housing associations have a core social purpose to house the homeless and the resources to make a real difference,” he said.