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Posted on 26 May 2020

The Calico Group makes long-term commitment on homelessness

The Calico Group has reaffirmed its commitment to prevent homelessness and reduce rough sleeping in the area, which are set to increase as the pandemic continues to affect people’s lives and the economy across the country.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the companies of The Calico Group have continued to work collectively alongside local partners to provide emergency accommodation and support for those affected by the crisis. This includes:

  • Buying and refurbishing more than 20 empty homes and making them available for people who needed urgent housing – with furniture provided by Furniture Matters
  • Letting 35 vacant rental properties to people with the highest priority housing needs, including homelessness, escaping domestic abuse or medical isolation
  • Offering free money advice to Calico Homes’ 4600 local tenants and providing support to help customers who might struggle with rent arrears
  • Increasing staffing for Calico’s Gateway homelessness service and introducing safety measures to ensure residents (and their pets) are protected – 25 rough sleepers have also been rehoused by Gateway
  • Providing 7-day-a-week support for people currently staying in hotel accommodation following hospital discharge
  • Helping thousands of people with wellbeing, housing and financial issues as part of the community hub, Burnley Together.

Although the lockdown is gradually easing, it is now clear that the effects of the pandemic will be felt for many years to come, with an estimated 500,000 people already at risk of homelessness as a result of the crisis, and many people in temporary accommodation faced with finding longer-term housing.

As part of its ongoing work to make a real difference to people’s lives, The Calico Group has pledged that its housing and support services will remain focused on people who are homeless, fleeing their homes, or are at risk of losing their homes.

This work not only includes providing accommodation and support, but also a full range of wellbeing services that improve people’s health, employability and sustainability.

Announcing The Calico Group’s three commitments to tackling homelessness, Chief Executive Anthony Duerden said:

“The financial impact of the coronavirus will continue to devastate many people in our communities – and we know there is a growing housing crisis especially among those who have low incomes, are struggling with health worries, and for people who are escaping abusive relationships.

“As a Group, we are taking every possible step to support people living with the fear of losing their home; whether that’s providing support or employment opportunities that will help keep a roof over their heads, and providing new accommodation or a safe place to stay where it’s most needed.

“We are committed to working collaboratively with the local authority, NHS and other local partners, doing everything we can to tackle homelessness together.”

Our 3 commitments to tackle homelessness:

1. Prioritising people who most urgently need accommodation

This means providing emergency housing for people in the greatest need and offering refuge, safe house and move-on housing for people escaping domestic abuse through SafeNet. We will continue to refurbish empty homes across Burnley to provide affordable accommodation for people who need to be isolated, and specialist support through our Gateway service with accommodation for the homeless people with highest risk and complex needs.

2. Providing urgent support for people at risk of homelessness

For our customers, we will continue to provide support and advice to prevent rent arrears or household bills from putting their home at risk. Through our local community hub, Burnley Together, we work in partnership to provide housing and financial advice for people who are isolated or struggling because of the crisis – both now and after the lockdown eases.

3. Working collaboratively to transform the lives of homeless people and those at risk of homelessness

We will continue to use the combined strength of The Calico Group to develop integrated services which bring together housing, employability, health and wellbeing – so that we can provide not just a home, but a solution to the issues that cause homelessness too. We will do this through strong relationships and trusting partnerships with other providers, the NHS and local authorities.

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