BBC 23rd March 2016: A new law which will require earlier intervention by councils to prevent homelessness has passed its final parliamentary hurdle. The Homelessness Reduction Bill also requires councils to provide advice and help to all affected, not just those protected under existing laws. The private member’s bill, introduced by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, received government backing. The government will be providing £61m to councils to meet the costs incurred. Mr. Blackman, who claimed on Twitter it was the most expensive private member’s bill ever passed, said: “I am immensely proud of everything that has been accomplished in this bill. Read more here.
The Guardian 7th March 2017: Leading homelessness charities whose remit is to protect vulnerable rough sleepers have been passing information about some of them to the Home Office, leading to their removal from the UK. A report from Corporate Watch, The Round Up, reveals concerns about homelessness charities’ links to immigration enforcement and comes at a time of increasing disquiet about the involvement of landlords, schools and the NHS with immigration enforcement. Read more here
A step, rather than a leap, in the right direction. In order to judge the White Paper properly, it’s important to understand the reasons behind the under-supply of new homes. The fundamental reason is simple: private housebuilding is overly dependent on a handful of big developers whose very business model is reliant on house prices remaining high. Why? It’s not because they are corrupt or evil. It’s because they are forced to compete with other developers to pay crazy sums for land to build on. Read more here
Our London based friends will be interested in this link, which can be found on the Mayor’s website dated 20th December 2016. The information sets out plans for a £50m fund to help homeless people, including former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse, by delivering properties specifically earmarked for people needing to move on from hostels and refuges. The funding is available to housing providers as part of the Mayor’s £3.15bn Affordable Homes Programme, which was agreed with the Government in November’s Autumn Statement. Whilst more localised groups may not be able to tap into the fund they may want to speak to their London Assembly representative about how the funding in being utilised in their area and possibly explore how they could like into the services being provided. This is the link to the article and this is the link to more information about the £50m.
Help The Homeless main funding remit is the regular allocation of grants (generally up to £5,000) for capital costs to small and medium-sized registered charities only (those with a turnover of under £1m per annum). Each application is considered on its merits by the Board of Trustees. All applications must relate to projects that assist individuals in their return to mainstream society, rather than simply offer shelter or other forms of sustenance. Examples of recent grants made can be seen here. Please note we are unable to consider requests for computers and IT equipment.
The quarterly deadlines for grant applications each year are: 15th March / 15th June / 15th September / 15th December. More details here
The music included in the videos has kindly been provided by Stray Theories, which is the music project of New Zealand based, Australian musician/composer, Micah Templeton-Wolfe. You can obtain more information on the latest projects and back catalogue for Stray Theories by clicking here.
All the groups and charities involved in the I AM HUNGER Film project are reliant upon the free time, energies and dedication of individual volunteers. This blog/link concerns those amazing people who happen to be on state benefits and are also volunteering in a local group or charity. If you are receiving state benefits you are still allowed to volunteer. However, there are some rules that you need to be aware of to make sure that your volunteering doesn’t have an impact on the benefits you receive. Helpful guidance on this matter is available from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). This guidance aims to help you start volunteering by giving an overview of what you need to know and providing some answers to some of the questions you may have before you start volunteering. Read more here