Merlin highlights vital support for vulnerable people
Published by jessica.britton for Merlin Housing Society in Housing
Merlin Housing Society joined forces with other housing associations to raise awareness of the positive impact housing and care services have on vulnerable people’s lives across the South West.
The organisation, which provides supported housing and related services to more than 1,500 people, took part in the National Housing Federation’s South West Support Matters Month.
Merlin’s Head of Supported Housing, Sally Willcox said: “Support Matters Month gave us an opportunity to celebrate how we’re transforming people’s lives by helping them live independently.
“We held this event to show local Councillors, and other decision makers, how we’re working with other support providers too make a difference to vulnerable people in South Gloucestershire.”
The event was one of over 100 held by housing associations in June to highlight the importance of supported housing services – services that are easing the burden on the National Health Service, police and other statutory services. Research has shown that every pound spent on housing support services saves up to £2.65 on other public services.
However, as these services are non-statutory, they are vulnerable to cuts. Many have already been subject to huge reductions in funding in parts of the South West.
An ageing population and rising homelessness are making these services even more important. In 2011 3,630 households were accepted as homeless and in priority need in the South West, an increase of more than 600 from 2009. Nearly 66,000 older people currently receive support services in the South West and the population aged 85 plus is expected to grow by 134% in the region by 2033.
In the South West there are more than 2,400 supported housing services, helping over 92,000 people live independently.
- purpose built accommodation with inbuilt training, support and education facilities to support young people
- refuges for women fleeing domestic violence
- support for people with mental health problems
- accommodation support for people with disabilities and learning disabilities,
- sheltered and extra care housing for older people.
For more information visit: www.housing.org.uk/southwest