KPMG Report March 2017
In a recent report by KPMG, entitled Reimagining Housing, the vulnerabilities of the young and old are addressed, sensitively and meaningfully.
Discounted Accommodation For The Young - In the UK. 2 million people over 75 live alone - and whilst many have the desire and the ability to stay in their homes, problems of loneliness, ill health and vulnerability to crime are common. Many have spare rooms - representing housing stock wasted at a time of great accommodation shortages - and might welcome the companionship, security and support provided by a young lodger.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of young professionals and students live in 'houses of multiple occupation' - often poorly maintained, overpriced and shared with people placed by the landlord rather than chosen by tenant. There's obvious potential for synergies here.
Rather than paying £400-600 for a room in a shared house, young people could be offered discounted accommodation with an elderly person in exchange for a few hours a week - which could either be spent performing household tasks, or simply keeping their housemate company. The owner would benefit from an additional income as well as the companionship; and the younger resident could both help protect them from con-artists and burglars and sound the alarm if they fell ill. Chances are, the government would find itself saving money on care, health and policing costs, along with the benefits for tenants and owners.
The scheme could be extended to certain benefit claimants, most obviously young unemployed people eligible for HMO housing benefit; and at this point, there would be cash savings for the government. But the main aims would be threefold. To make better use of under-occupied housing stock and to reduce demand for HMOs, thus taking the edge off demand. To provide a cheaper alternative form of accommodation for those professionals and students who'd enjoy living with an older person. And to generate additional income, support in the home and human companionship for older people - many of whom are short of all three.
This isn't a big solution; just another tool to add to the mix. But it's one that could work well for everybody involved; and that alone should make it something worth pursuing.
Read the full report by clicking on this PDF link >> KPMG reimagine-housing-web-v4
BBC News April 2017
Rising rents creating more homeless
"Research by BBC London has found that the number of households made homeless due to private rented sector evictions has increased 600% since 2010, with increasing rents and cuts to benefits blamed for the surge. Councils have also increased spending on placing the homeless into temporary accommodation by an average of 60% over the same period. The number of families being made statutorily homeless in London stands at a 10-year high.”
For more information on Homeless Sunday please follow the link.
SIXTY YEARS for the average Londoner to afford a flat in Bromley, figures reveal ~The Bromley Times
A lack of affordable housing is leading to homelessness, charity claims
Click here for the full article.
Thank you Tamasha Restaurant and the Rotary Club for nominating us for The Giraffe Trail. A big thank you to Green Street Green school for decorating our giraffe and helping us win first prize and £100. We are now in the process of auctioning it.
On the 7th of June 2016, the office attended the Community Links Bromley's ninth Volunteer Awards ceremony at the Bromley Central Library. The event celebrated volunteering and voluntary activity by recognising the valuable input volunteers make to their local communities.
Our very own volunteer, Fabienne Brazzill won an award during the night in recognition of all the hard work she does for us.
It was a lovely evening organised by Community Links with good food and good company.
Congratulations to all the other winners of the night.
Donations from Lush
Thank you to Lush Bromley for their kind donations of soaps towards our clients.
Three-Times More Homeless Young People Rely On Services Than Government Records Show
More than three times as many homeless young people a year are estimated to be relying on charities and councils for a roof over their heads across the UK than officially recorded by the government, according to new research by the University of Cambridge, commissioned by the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.
An estimated that 83,000 homeless 16-24 year-olds relied on the support of councils and charities in the UK in 2013-14, the last complete year of available data, compared to just 26,852 recorded by statutory homelessness figures compiled by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and authorities in the devolved nations.
* Over 83,000 homeless young people have been accommodated by local authorities or homelessness services during 2013-14
* Nine per cent of UK young people have slept in an ‘outside’ place in the last year, including on the street, in car parks or parks, because they had nowhere else to go
* 26 per cent of UK young people have slept in an unsafe place because they had nowhere else to go. This equates to an estimated 1.3m young people aged 16 to 24
* 35 per cent of UK young people have experience of sofa surfing which would suggest over a million nationally
Hostels were found to be almost always full or over-subscribed, with around 35,000 young people in homeless accommodation at any one time across the UK.
The government’s official homelessness statistics only record the number of homeless young people local authorities have a statutory duty to house – which in England, Wales and Northern Ireland includes only those in ‘priority need’ such as young parents, under-18s or care leavers.
As a result, thousands of young people who do not fit the narrow categories go unrecorded, even if they have been rough sleeping - the most widely recognised manifestation of homelessness.
The statutory figures also only include those accepted as newly homeless and therefore do not take account of those already homeless at the start of the year.
Researchers plugged the gaps in government data by analysing a range of sources on young people in social housing and hostel bed spaces, as well as interviews with 40 local authorities.
Other key findings:
* In London, more than 17,000 homeless young people were estimated to have been housed by councils and charities
* The number of homeless young people housed in England (63,976) is far greater than Scotland (12,107), Wales (4,133) and Northern Ireland (3,025)
Balbir Chatrik, Centrepoint’s Director of Policy, said: ‘Successive governments have been making policy in the dark as they have failed to grasp the sheer scale of youth homelessness in the UK.
‘We’re seeing the consequences of funding decisions based on this lack of knowledge, which have placed extreme pressure on charities and local authorities, with the majority of hostels full or oversubscribed.
‘Young people typically find themselves facing homelessness through no fault of their own. As a society we owe them a national safety net devised from more than just guess work.
‘In Scotland, local authorities already have to record and support all homeless people, even if are not in a priority need group. This shows it can be done, and it’s time that the rest of the UK followed suit.
‘Smarter funding decisions now will save the taxpayer money. With a safe place to stay and support from charities like Centrepoint, homeless young people can find work and make a future for themselves. We must not right them off simply to balance the country’s books.’
We had a very successful and well attended Annual General Meeting on 12th May with guest speaker, Ed Tree from the Bromley Homeless Shelter.
We are all really looking forward to the future of the LATCH Project.
Lloyds Bank Community Fund
A big thanks to all our supporters who voted for us in the Lloyds Bank Community Fund. During the public vote, 4,375 votes were cast and we came 2nd in the public vote, winning £2k.
This money will make such a difference and will enable LATCH to continue finding safe homes for 16 to 25 year old's in the London Borough of Bromley.
The Lloyds Bank Community Fund was set up to help local people across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man to have a positive impact at the heart of their community by giving grants to 1,400 local good causes in 350 communities.
Nearly 1.5 million votes were cast for good causes across the country during the voting that took place between 2 September and 10 October. Over 700,000 people will be benefit either directly or indirectly from the good work the 1,400 good causes across the country will be able to deliver as a result of receiving a Community Fund 2014 award.
Big Lottery Funding
The LATCH Project recently received grant funding from the Big Lottery Fund to provide Moving in Starter Packs for all new clients.
The starter packs consist of bed linen, bedding, toiletries and towels. As a result of this funding we can now also supply our clients with basic living appliances and kitchen utensils when they move onto independent living.
Natasha was one of our first clients to benefit from the Big Lottery grant. Natasha came to LATCH in November 2010 as her family moved to Devon and she wanted to stay in Bromley to continue her education. Once placed with a LATCH host, Natasha started having mentoring sessions with Positive Pete and started working full time in a betting shop. Natasha did so well that she was put forward for her own property with Affinity Sutton and in August 2014 she moved into her own, one bedroom flat.
In October this year, Natasha was delighted to receive various kitchen utensils and household items from LATCH.
Natasha is a different person now to the one we first met. She took all the support she was offered by LATCH and has become a confident, independent young woman.
Sainsbury's Local Charity
We are delighted to announce that Sainsbury's in Beckenham recently chose The LATCH Project as its local charity partner. Earlier this year, Sainsbury's customers nominated their favourite local charities and LATCH was chosen after Nici Moran, LATCH Director and three other charity finalists gave a presentation to the Sainsbury's Local Charity Committee Panel. Sainsbury's, Beckenham will support LATCH over the next 12 months through fundraising & volunteering.
Evening Standard (October 2014) - Charities' vital help for homeless
In response to the article, Welfare cuts ‘leave councils with huge bill to put families in hotels’, please click here to read LATCH's letter to the Editor of the Evening Standard.