An update on our homelessness services from our Operations Director, Philomena Cunningham.

Our supported housing schemes for homeless people at Foundations/Inn2, The Bridge and Parker House have continued to provide much needed accommodation and support to homeless people in Preston and Chorley throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s not been easy for our tenants, who are quite vulnerable and often already isolated from family and friends, to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the lockdown, but staff at all three schemes have done a great job helping them through.

The physical and mental wellbeing of the tenants has been of paramount importance. We've prioritised improving the access to wifi at all three schemes so that tenants are able to better access the internet and keep connected at this very difficult time. And the team have also helped tenants to pass the time with ideas for easy recipes, creative and physical activities, keeping in touch with friends and family remotely, and other ideas for looking after their wellbeing and mental health.

During this time, the demand for supported housing hasn’t gone away, which means that the team has also been carrying on with helping people to move on in order to free up accommodation for others. Since March, the teams have helped eight tenants move on into new homes, with continuing support in place from us for them to manage their own tenancies; certainly a challenge at a time when access to shops and services has been very limited and the task of acquiring furniture, carpets and white goods has taken much longer than normal.

We were pleased to see that rough sleepers have been provided with temporary accommodation during the coronavirus pandemic and that a commitment from the government to provide funding for 6,000 new long term, safe homes for vulnerable rough sleepers has been announced.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working with a number of local authorities, including Preston, and Homes England has been in contact with a number of registered providers, including Progress Housing Group, to find out how we can all work together to achieve these ambitious targets and provide over half of these new homes in the next 12 months.

We are committed to supporting Preston City Council in achieving this goal.

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