News from Bolton at Home
Here you'll find news articles from across the organisation, from important tenant updates and new housing developments, to community events and activities.
Preventing and tackling homelessness
It’s World Homeless Day on Saturday 10 October. It’s a time to reflect on what’s being done to prevent and tackle homelessness, and recognise that more solutions will be needed to help as many people as possible.
Housing providers like us and other members of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) partnership are committed to rehousing, resettling and supporting people who are homeless or potentially at risk of being.
Here’s what we’re doing locally and regionally:
- We’re a partner and guardian of Backup we support people staying in hostel accommodation, and thanks to the Greater Manchester social impact bond we’ve been able to give a fresh start to local people who’d been sleeping rough- providing them with accommodation, health support and encouragement into education or work.
- Backup (https://backup-charity.org.uk), delivers crucial housing and support services for homeless young people in Bolton. And we’re proud to work with Backup to ensure people can positively move-on and into permanent accommodation. We did a brief film on how the team provides a safe and stable place for young people to develop their confidence and life skills enabling independence. You can watch it by clicking on this link: https://www.readtap4.online/tap4/backup-schemes/.
- Together with Arcon Housing Association, other Greater Manchester Housing Providers and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, we’ve pledged to improve opportunities for people who’ve previously lived in care. The care leavers pledge commits us to offering quality and stable housing to care leavers, as well as employment and skills opportunities, plus peer mentoring. We recognise that some young people are dealt a tougher hand, and it’s our responsibility as a community to ensure that we can work together to support and help them succeed in life.
- Our Tenancy Support services offer tenants regular contact, advice and assistance if they’re finding it difficult to manage their tenancy. We support them to live at home successfully, and support their health and wellbeing for as long as they need. We also provide housing and personal support to people who are vulnerable and survivors of domestic abuse and violence.
- We tackle poverty with debt and money advice, provide food and clothes initiatives, help people keep warm for less and support people into employment. Between April 2019 and March 2020: more than 4,500 people benefited from at least one of our on-going activities to address poverty; our employment programmes helped 263 people into paid work and 230 people into learning or training programmes; our Money Advice Team helped more than 1,300 tenants to be financially better off by over £6 million in total. Since lockdown, we’ve helped more than 640 families with money advice, and on average they stand to be better off by £5,388 per household over a 12 month period following the support they received.
- While many new lettings had to be paused during the peak of the pandemic, we were still able to provide homes for 70 people/families who were in temporary or shared accommodation and so needed an urgent move to enable them to observe social distancing. We’re working hard to get back to making more empty properties available to rent as quickly as possible and all in ways that’ll keep the risk of infection to a minimum.
- Through our development teams, Stonecross Homes brand (www.stonecrosshomes.co.uk) and Arcon Developments Ltd subsidiary (www.arcon.org.uk/our-homes), we’re providing new homes for rent and some for shared ownership as there’s a shortage of quality genuinely affordable housing to rent or buy. Without new social homes many people would live in unaffordable homes, overcrowded conditions, be unable to leave ex partners or parents, and ultimately live at risk of homelessness.
- In August we signed up to three pledges coordinated by the National Housing Federation (www.housing.org.uk) to reassure tenants who might have financial difficulties caused by Coronavirus:
1. Keeping people secure at home- no one will be evicted from a housing association home as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus, where they’re working (or engaging) with their housing association to get their payments back on track.
2. Helping people to get the support they need- housing associations are helping residents to access benefits and other support to alleviate financial hardship, including supporting people to get work where possible.
3. Acting compassionately and quickly where people are struggling- housing associations will work with any resident who is struggling to find arrangements to pay rent that is manageable for them in the long term. Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances – for example as a last resort where a resident will not agree a plan with their landlord to help them pay their rent, or where it’s needed urgently in cases of domestic abuse or of antisocial behaviour that is putting other residents or communities at risk.
We signed-up to the pledges as both Bolton at Home and as one of the 26 social housing landlords that make up the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) partnership.
You can learn more about the collective work of the GMHP, including tackling homelessness and delivering support to help people start a new life off the streets, at this website: https://gmhousing.co.uk/
Take care and stay safe
We’re happy to comment on current housing and related issues.
For more information contact Andrew Pilkington, Marketing and Communications Manager, on 01204 329714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tap4 Latest Issue - released 14 September 2020
Tap4 is our digital publication for tenants and is released every quarter. It keeps you clued-up on the things we do to build and support our communities, puts a spotlight on the people and organisations that make Bolton brilliant, and is inspired by you.