On Thursday 9 August, we were pleased to welcome Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood to our Westover Road offices for a discussion about the services we provide within the local community. The visit coincided with the Government’s announcement that all supported housing funding will be covered by the welfare system1.
This announcement comes after months of consultation following a Government proposal to fund short-term accommodation through council grants, whereby councils would receive central funding and pay short-term supported housing rents at their discretion. The decision to retain the current mechanism means residents will claim housing benefit as usual, with their rent normally being paid directly to their landlord.
Jackie Weeden, our Executive Director, said:
“This decision is very welcome as it shows that the Government has listened to our concerns for both the people we support and for our staff, who have been living with uncertainty as to how funding would be maintained.
“This also allows us as an organisation to plan to invest in more housing stock so we can support more people, many of whom are extremely vulnerable.
“During his visit, we also updated Mr Ellwood on the youth and family services we provide throughout the conurbation, and the challenge of continuing this work in the light of reduced local authority funding and of short-term project commissioning becoming the norm.”
Mr Ellwood said: “I’m delighted to be visiting YMCA Bournemouth and hugely appreciate the work they do in the local area. The YMCA have such a good record, not just here but across the whole country. The concept of looking after those who are going through a dark chapter is so important. The key is to make it so that it is only a chapter for these individuals and not the normal situation.”