Northern Ireland’s Choice Housing has renewed its partnership with a local homelessness charity to support people moving from temporary accommodation into more sustainable tenancy living.
The partnership with Homeless Connect, now in its second year and which is expected to help around 1,700 Choice tenants, provides vital ‘Getting Started Boxes’ to families across Northern Ireland.
These are intended to make the transition from temporary accommodation to a more permanent home easier.
Choice says the £20,000 project I part of its ongoing commitment to support its tenants in achieving financial security and sustainable living.
Carol Ervine, group director of tenant and client services at Choice Housing, said: “Setting up a new home can be daunting, it’s particularly challenging if you are moving from a temporary living arrangement without many of the essentials that we all need and use on a daily basis.
“Whilst the initial focus for Choice is to deliver quality affordable housing for tenants, the support does not stop once they sign their tenancy agreement. The association is committed to ensuring tenants have a range of support available to them to ensure they can sustain their new living arrangement, and create a long-term home for them and their families.”
In the period 2022/23 the partnership between Choice and Homeless Connect delivered support to 2,500 households across the region with ‘Getting Started Boxes’.
This is a food parcel with items to start filling the cupboard with the essentials needed when setting up home. This accompanies the successful Starter Pack project offered by Homeless Connect, with essential household items such as small electrical items, bedding, crockery, cutlery and a range of cleaning products.
Providing both essential household items and food is a “foot forward” for tenants who may be “overwhelmed with the costs associated with taking on a new home for the first time”, the organsiation says.
Ervine added: “The cost-of-living crisis has put further pressure on the ability of families to maintain their everyday costs and as a result these types of collaborative projects between Choice and Homeless Connect are more in demand than ever.”
Kathy Henry from Homeless Connect added: “Homeless Connects Starter Packs project, which is funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, works in partnership with a range of providers to address the risk of homelessness, and provide household items that provide a foundation for tenants as they move in to a new home.
“We are grateful to our partners Choice for their support in the provision of ‘Getting Started Boxes’, which truly make a real difference for those who receive them.”
Main image: (Left to right) Carol Ervine, Choice; Kathy Henry, Homeless Connect; Aidan McCrea, Choice’s financial inclusion manager
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