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Service extended for those in housing need

2 January 2018

We are reaching out to the homeless and those who are worried about the possibility of losing their homes.

Over the past year we have seen the number of homelessness applications increase from 61 to 167, according to the latest figures.

For the next six months we will now trial new outreach sessions in Windermere and Ulverston to get help and advice to those who need alternative accommodation.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Innovation, said: “You could be forgiven for thinking homelessness isn’t a problem here in South Lakeland. However, the truth is the number of people needing help to keep a roof over their head is rising and we expect it to continue increasing. 

“With around 3,100 households currently on the waiting list for social housing, high private sector rents and many landlords reluctant to offer tenancies to people on benefits, the situation is getting worse.” 

Our Housing Options team says there are some big challenges to overcome and the new monthly outreach sessions in Windermere and Ulverston should help to target more people in need.

Alan Davis, our Housing Options Manager, said: “Over the past year 760 local people have contacted us for housing-related advice at our Kendal-based council offices.

“Their problems included unsuitable accommodation, issues with a landlord or tenancy, breakdown of a relationship and difficulties paying the rent or mortgage. Clearly these are issues which don’t just come from the Kendal area. This is a large district and we need to make our service more accessible for the wider community.”

The outreach sessions will be held every month from Friday 12 January 2018 at the Ulverston Town Council offices next to the Coronation Hall and from Friday 26 January 2018 at Windermere Library.

After the initial trial period it is hoped that the service provided in Ulverston and Windermere will become a permanent one.

Our Housing Options team offer a range of services from money advice and mediation to tenancy support and emergency accommodation. A lot of work carried out is around prevention and relief of homelessness; stopping someone becoming physically homeless, keeping them where they are or finding alternative accommodation.

Our preventative work also includes liaising with landlords to allow tenants to stay in their accommodation, helping with the payment of deposits, working with families and young people to prevent a relationship breakdown leading to homelessness and arranging talks in local schools about the harsh reality of homelessness.