Liverpool housing groups launch campaign to furnish new homes for homeless

Housing organisations across the Liverpool City Region have partnered up to furnish homes for homeless people housed during the COVID-19 crisis.

Liverpool’s local authorities, housing associations, and homeless organisations have launched the Homes for Good campaign, which is fundraising for basic household items to give to new tenants of unfurnished properties.

The campaign aims to make the city’s housing association properties suitable for previously homeless people to live in long-term.

Cathy Biggs, director for housing at Plus Dane Housing, said: “Housing association properties are generally unfurnished. The Home for Good campaign, in partnership with YMCA, Whitechapel Centre and Crisis, is now fundraising to buy the basics that everyone needs to turn a house in to their home.

“We want to be able to provide some furniture, kitchen equipment and bedding to help people settle into their new life. We know that the last few months have been really difficult for a lot of people, but we’re asking anyone who can to donate what they can afford to this fantastic campaign and help us turn the tide on homelessness in Liverpool.”

The Home for Good campaign comes after rough sleepers were offered emergency accommodation in hotels earlier this year in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With council homes in short supply, Liverpool’s social landlords have offered their vacant properties to people ready to make the next step into a permanent home.

As of mid-August, 159 previously homeless people have now been housed in Liverpool, while a further 200 people are currently in the process of moving in.

Over 400 other people in the city region have been identified as needing a home, a number which is only continuing to grow.

The appeal is looking to provide each home with furniture packs including a bed and bedding, wardrobe and bedside table, a sofa, table and chairs, kettle, toaster, crockery and cutlery, cooker and fridge freezer.

Manyof the organisations involved have already made their own contributions to the campaign, while anyone can donate via the Home for Good JustGiving page.

Julie Fadden, CEO of South Liverpool Homes, said: “Restrictions brought on by lockdown meant that housing associations across the city were facing a struggle to fill vacant properties. We had the idea to come together and use them for good, by housing our homeless population.

“Social landlords in Liverpool have staunchly supported this initiative, and working in partnership with Liverpool City Council and our homeless charities, we are changing lives for the better.”

Cllr Paul Brant, Liverpool City Council’s portfolio holder for adult social care and health, praised the campaign, saying that Liverpool has a long history of providing support to those who find themselves homeless.

Cllr Brant said: “We are pleased to be proactively working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector providers – in particular Whitechapel, the YMCA, and the city’s housing associations – to ensure all those rough sleeping during the COVID-19 crisis are accommodated, and are now continuing this work with a view to move them on where possible into tenancies.

“There has been great progress to date, and the Homes for Good initiative will be very helpful in sustaining this.”

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