Michael Newey, Group Chief Executive, told our Annual General Meeting in September that Broadland needs to continue “stretching itself” if we are to help tackle the UK’s “appalling” homelessness problem.
Broadland completed 67 new homes in the year to March 2019, and another 259 are under construction. Michael said:
Far too many people don’t have homes in this country. According to Shelter there are 268,000 homeless people in England, and that includes a terrifying number of children. We are in an appalling situation. At the end of the day the solution to homelessness is bricks and mortar, and that’s why we have to stretch ourselves to build more.
Broadland’s Annual Review shows outlines plans to deliver 291 new homes in the current financial year, with a further 172 in 2020-21, and 147 in 2021-22. We allocated 476 homes in 2018-19, of which 75 were let to homeless people, and further 131 to older people.
As part of Broadland’s pledge to tackle homelessness, we have signed up to the national Homes for Cathy initiative. We have made 9 clear commitments, including introducing flexibility into the way we allocate homes, and meeting the needs of vulnerable tenant groups.
Michael also told the meeting about the importance of the work of our Tenancy Support team, which helps tenants who are at risk of losing their homes. He said:
The team has supported nearly 400 tenants over the last year. As a result of their work with those tenants, they have managed to bring in for those families a further £322,000 worth of benefits that they weren’t getting beforehand, either by challenging incorrect DWP decisions or securing benefits that tenants were entitled to.
Looking to the future, Michael outlined our new corporate strategy, 2019-23. Going forward, we have strengthened our commitments on tackling homelessness, renewed our focus on involving tenants in shaping the future of our organisation.