Sunday, September 05, 2004

Homeless centre's financial woe

A centre for homeless people in Nottingham could be facing closure after serious financial difficulties.

Emmanuel House on Goosegate helps up to 130 people a day to get food and advice on how to find housing.

The centre needs to raise £54,000 by the end of the financial year in order to remain open.

Staff say it provides a vital lifeline for people living on Nottingham's streets and relieves many of the problems associated with begging.

A recent study said the amount of begging on Nottingham's streets had fallen by 85%.

But the city council has run a tough publicity campaign saying most money given to beggars is spent on drugs.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Model joins unfit homes 'sit in'

Model Nell McAndrew has become the first protester to join homeless charity Shelter's "sit in" campaign to help British children in unfit housing
The charity hopes to raise awareness of the education and health problems unfit housing causes for children.

It says more than a million children in the UK overcrowded, unfit and emergency accommodation.

The campaign features a red armchair, in which Ms McAndrew posed in London ahead of its nationwide tour.

'Damp and dangerous'

The red armchair will visit 25 towns and cities over the coming four months to promote the charity's Million Children Campaign.

Shelter hopes members of the public will pose for photographs sitting in the chair to create a "physical petition".

The pictures will go on display in an exhibition of supporters in the New Year.

In Britain, over a million children are suffering in damp and dangerous homes, living in fear of eviction and debt
Adam Sampson

Shelter director Adam Sampson said: "In Britain, over a million children are suffering in damp and dangerous homes, living in fear of eviction and debt. Some have lost their homes already.
"We hope that thousands of people will register their protest and that their elected representatives will commit to ending bad housing for the next generation of children."

Ms McAndrew pose for photographs in the chair opposite the Houses of Parliament on London's South Bank.

She said: "My home is so important to me and I know the difference a safe, secure, comfortable home can make to a family.

"Yet for more than one million children in Britain, a decent home is a distant dream."

Friday, October 03, 2003

Resident 'frustrated' by fire delay

A Nottingham man has described his frustration at being left homeless by a fire at the block of flats where he lived.

Three weeks after the fire in Radford, most of his clothes and possessions remain sealed off beyond his reach.

The flames which spread rapidly through High Cross Court left 24 homes damaged.

Most families were allowed to return home the same evening, but 16 flats were considered too unsafe to be re-occupied.

Homeless hostel

Dwayne Castillo told the BBC he has not even been able to collect his belongings

"They allowed me in once in the dark because there was no electricity, that was a couple of days before I was due to go on holiday because I needed to get my passport.

"I haven't been allowed in since.

"The fire left me with only the clothes on my back, I've had to take days off work to buy everything I need.

"I've had no feedback from the council.

"No one is saying when I can go back, every time I ring them they say no-one can tell me as it is up to the police."

Mr Castillo has been staying with his girlfriend since the fire, but other residents have had to stay at a homeless shelter.

A spokesman for Nottingham City Council, Tim Baggs, said: "We appreciate it is not ideal for the tenants that are affected for them to be staying in accommodation that is only meant for overnight stays for homeless people.

All I had was the clothes on my back

Dwayne Castillo, Tennant

"Unfortunately we don't have empty properties that we can quickly decamp people to in these situations.

"What we have been doing is identifying properties that may be suitable for the families that have been displaced."

The city council says it has found a new flat close to High Cross Court for Mr Castillo and he can hopefully move in by Monday.

Officials also added that it could be months before the flats are repaired, but that they are doing everything the can to find the tenants new homes.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Homeless figures rise

More than 3,000 households in Devon are now living in bed and breakfast or temporary accommodation.

The number of people or families declared homeless over the last 12 months has risen by about 600.

The high rents and house prices in Devon are being blamed.

South Hams Housing Officer Andrew Fiske said councils were working to try and prevent the problem.

He said: "We are trying to negotiate with landlords and parents with conflict resolution to get some kind of preventative approach.

"If we can prevent people becoming homeless through those sorts of avenues then it is going to help reduce the numbers."

The number of second homes in the South Hams outstrips either the private rented or social accommodation, it was revealed this month.

More than 11% of properties in the district are now second homes.

By comparison, 9% of homes are private rented and only 7% are social housing.