Two of the country’s leading housing associations are calling for the housing sector to join together and support housing charity Shelter as it faces a dramatic reduction in its funding.
The cuts to legal aid in England have meant a loss of around £3 million in the money Shelter has available to deliver face to face advice. The charity has recently announced it is having to propose the closure of ten of its face to face advice services as a result of these cuts, which would mean up to 100 redundancies.
The appeal is asking 100 housing associations each to contribute to the funding of one Shelter specialist housing adviser, although any support that can be provided will be gratefully received. These advisers will be used across the charity’s network to help more people in housing need with face to face advice.
Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Housing Association, said: “I am really pleased that we are able to support an advice worker for Shelter, and I would urge others to do the same.
“Shelter has strong and historic links with the housing association world, and is a well known brand that people turn to first for help. It is not just our residents that need this advice and support but those who don’t have a proper home. It is so important at this time that associations who care about homelessness and its prevention support those doing such a great job.”
David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, says: “We are calling on 100 housing associations to join us in supporting Shelter at a critical time in their future and ours. I am delighted to pledge the funds from our L&Q Foundation to support a front-line advice worker.
“Shelter’s pioneering work to create new models of funding and help for vulnerable people has been crucial to our development and that of the whole housing movement. L&Q and Shelter grew up together in the 1960s. They were there at the beginning to support us. Now we want to support them.”
“In our 50th anniversary year L&Q are proud to offer this tangible support back to Shelter, and above all to the people who they serve.”
Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: “While service closures are absolutely a last resort, we simply cannot fill the gap created by the scale of the cuts to legal aid within our existing resources. I am touched and delighted by the response from the industry, and hope that together we can try to ensure that as many people as possible in housing need are able to get the advice and support that could help them keep a roof over their heads.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the appeal should contact Louisa Campbell Louisa_campbell@shelter.org.uk