Housing associations look to Cathy Come Home for inspiration

A group of housing associations have set up ‘Homes for Cathy’ to highlight the ongoing problem of homelessness.

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When David Bogle called South Yorkshire Housing Association chief executive, Tony Stacey, and Hastoe Housing chief executive, Sue Chalkley, he didn’t think his idea was going to gain as much traction as it has.

Using Ken Loach’s famous film, which is nearing its 50th anniversary, as inspiration, David and the gang set out to remind housing associations of their founding purpose.

“The main problem is, despite the good work housing associations have done and the homes they have built, homelessness is still a problem,” says David.

He adds: “It isn’t just rough sleeping that is a problem, but homeless families too who are using temporary accommodation.

“Due to cuts to grant funding, people are mainly talking about market rent and although the commercial aspect is imperative, we need to help those who are homeless. That should be a priority.

“We need to point out ownership really won’t help, there needs to be homes for affordable rents.”

Many housing associations are getting involved, with some showing the film in local cinemas and linking it to a wider debate on homelessness.

Others are getting local MPs involved to raise awareness of the problem.

David continued: “We are by no means trying to take the place of Shelter, Crisis or St. Mungo’s. We are just a group of housing associations still wanting to help.

“For this to be a success, we need to get MPs involved in this movement. We are also working closely with the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing, among others, to get more of a publicity push.”

There are many activities housing associations are taking part in to raise awareness. The anniversary of Cathy Come Home is the 16th November.

 

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