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Housing charity set to close

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

Housing charity set to close Housing charity set to close

A housing charity is to fold following 16 months of problems.

Bristol Foundation Housing was created to house vulnerable tenants, such as people suffering from mental health issues and ex-prisoners.

BHF, which ran 12 homes a year ago, confirmed yesterday that it is to close down, the Bristol Post reported.

Tricia Davis, a BHF trustee, said: “Despite an unprecedented need for our services housing vulnerable adults with issues of mental health, addiction, trauma, domestic violence, illness and learning difficulties, the charity has not received the funding it needs to continue.

“With the closure of its last 90 beds (from 400 in 2012), the charity will cease trading in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol, and will close.

“The last 11 members of staff face redundancy. We have offered all our tenants assistance in accessing other charities.

“Those which could not be accommodated are presenting as homeless to their local council.

“Our difficulties with Bristol City Council are well documented, and now we have been unable to agree a suitable rent figure with South Gloucestershire.

“It is hard enough housing vulnerable adults with challenging behaviour. But with so many vital services being cut, and an unyielding housing benefit process, we have come to the very difficult decision that we must close our hostels and flats.

“We are aware that many homelessness charities nationwide are in a similar situation.”

In a statement, the council said: “We were made aware of this development last week when a number of tenants/licensees of accommodation run by Bristol Foundation Housing, an independent charity, contacted our Housing Advice Team for help.

“We then contacted BFH and we were told that they will be handing back the few of their properties they are still running because their landlord, Connolly & Callaghan, has asked for the properties back.

“In spite of us asking on numerous occasions that they notify us when they are going to issue an eviction notice, they have again failed to do so.

“We understand that they have issued eviction notices to all their remaining tenants, approximately 25 in number, and we are in contact with around nine of these tenants to see if we can assist. So far we have provided help to five people.

“Bristol City Council also wrote last week to the chair of trustees but has yet to receive a reply.”

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