Housing association status granted to homelessness charity
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
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Birmingham YMCA has been officially registered as a housing association with the Homes and Communities Agency.
Though the organisation insists the move will not change its objectives of providing homeless accommodation, helping people live independently and ending the homelessness cycle, it will change the way it is funded.
The HCA awarded the new status after Birmingham YMCA demonstrated its long term-financial viability and the quality of the accommodation and services it provides. This status will enable it to apply directly for capital funding from the HCA, to provide more homes and help build new housing schemes in the city.
The charity currently has 250 units of accommodation in Birmingham, based in areas such as Aston, Moseley and Erdington. It has plans to add 56 units through the empty homes community grant scheme and 34 flats to its Orchard centre.
Chief executive Alan Fraser said: “We have been working towards registering with the HCA for over two years so this is excellent news. We have had to demonstrate our commitment to meeting stringent standards at the same time showing that we have a solid plan for the future. Now people can use our services knowing that we are properly regulated and accountable. We are also now entitled to apply for funding to provide more accommodation – so our registration is good news for us and for those who need our services.
“Unfortunately, homelessness is on the increase, with many young people left in vulnerable positions. By attaining housing association status we can look forward to helping many more homeless people in Birmingham, with a view to eventually ending homelessness entirely.
“Becoming a registered housing association marks a milestone for Birmingham YMCA. By having this status we hope to achieve our target of delivering hundreds more units of accommodation over the next five years.”