We engage on a whole variety of issues with local and national government for the improvement of the well being of the poor and marginalised. Here is a glimpse of activities we are currently engaged in Summer 2019.
We continue to raise concerns about the processes of Universal credit with policy makers in Whitehall. We recently had 75 vulnerable residents in Southport who requested for their rent to be paid direct to the landlord and were denied. We continue to talk with them about improvements to their system and particularly over delayed payments that are putting the most marginalised at risk.
For 20 years we have met with politicians and built relationships with them over this time. We have assisted Andrew Selous MP in making sure the right information goes out with regards to funeral arrangements, met with Iain Duncan Smith with respect to policy changes, regularly met with Stephen Timms to raise concerns. We have spoken at the Conservative Christian Fellowship, run stands at the Labour and Liberal Democrats National Party conference and much more.
‘Through the Gate’ was a flagship policy of government, started in 2016, intended to bring about a step change in rehabilitation, and so reduce reoffending. It has completely failed and been closed down after spending £1 Billion on this initiative. We are speaking to the minister on the rehousing and rehabilitation of ex offenders and have proposed a pilot scheme in Merseysides and West Yorkshire. In year 1 we would house 2 ex-offenders in a scheme, 4 in year 2, 8 in year 3, 16 in year 4, 32 in year 5, 64 in year 6, 128 in year 7, 256 in year 8, 512 in year 9 and over 1,000 ex-offenders in 10 years across the two areas. We are currently writing to MOJ and DWP.
We continue to ask both to lend to Green Pastures to address homelessness in the UK.
We have spoke at length to ministers on this Housing Programme as we have concerns over its financial viability. Currently the government are only budgeting for year one rather than the subsequent years that the residents will continue to need support. If the cost nationwide is £25m by year 15 it would be over £300m per annum rather than £25m per annum. We are trying to assist with the merseyside operation of Housing First.
We are currently lobbying County Councils for us to house those currently in temporary accommodation. There are often 5 to 6 family members in a one bedroom space in a travelodge or the equivalent. There are a total of 67,000 families nationwide in temporary accommodation! That's over 250,000 people. We have two councils that have agreed: we have set up one house on the Wirral and we are in the process of agreeing 10 houses with St Helens Council. We also have a meeting with the Head of Housing from Liverpool Council on this topic in August 2019. Moseley Council have also agreed to house people in temporary accommodation with us. We will save each council £20,000 per year for every family we house for them.