Richmond Council pursues Registered Provider status to help tackle homelessness crisis

By Heather Nicholls

9th Feb 2024 | Local News

Richmond Council pursues Registered Provider status to help tackle homelessness crisis. (Photo Credit: Richmond Council).
Richmond Council pursues Registered Provider status to help tackle homelessness crisis. (Photo Credit: Richmond Council).

Richmond Council has been granted approval to apply to become a Registered Provider of Social Housing, enabling the Council to access additional funding to directly deliver temporary accommodation and supporting its ongoing initiatives to address the rising challenges of homelessness within the borough.

This latest development comes on the heels of the Council's recent appeal to the government to end the freeze on the housing benefit subsidy cap, which has remained stagnant since 2011.

Coupled with substantial investments aimed at improving the quality of temporary accommodation, the move to become a Registered Provider is a crucial step towards securing the well-being of residents facing homelessness.

Cllr Jim Millard, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: "Our dedicated officers are doing incredible work supporting residents presenting as homeless in the borough, but the pool of appropriate properties available within the private rented sector has evaporated.

"As a result, too often Richmond families faced with homelessness are having to be placed in temporary accommodation outside the borough, far from support networks and often with journeys of over 10 miles to school every day.

"In the face of a temporary accommodation crisis which has been exacerbated by the soaring cost of living, we need to take swift action to alleviate the impact on Richmond residents in need.

"With over 500 families currently in temporary accommodation, becoming a Registered Provider enables us to directly deliver accommodation within the borough for those in need and this decision not only streamlines the process but shows how we are innovating to tackle this challenge at a local level."

Seeking Registered Provider status gives Richmond Council, as a non-stock holding authority, the opportunity to actively bid for funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to allow the Council to pursue creative approaches to increasing the stock of good quality temporary accommodation within the borough, including expanding its programme to acquire properties on the open market and address the immediate need for temporary accommodation.

This move forms part of the Council's commitment outlined in the Housing Strategy to provide affordable housing for a range of household incomes.

By expanding the availability of good-quality, affordable homes, the Council remains focused on providing meaningful solutions to the challenges presented by the current housing landscape and ensuring the welfare of all residents.

     

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