While the research suggests that two thirds of people believe personal problems are to blame for homelessness, either citing alcohol and drugs (35%) or financial problems such as debt (32%) as the top contributors, studies by the housing charity Shelter into the real causes of homelessness suggests that the most common reasons are family relationships breaking down, domestic violence and loss of an assured tenancy.
Jeff Watson, Nationwide’s Area Director for Northern England, said: ““Helping people into homes of their own is at the heart of what we do as a building society. As the research suggests, however, the problem of homelessness in the North of England is often hidden away. Although many may recognise those sleeping on the street as homeless, those staying with friends or in temporary accommodation can be just as in need of a proper home.
“That’s why we are making funding available for local housing projects supporting ways to help those who are vulnerable and in unaffordable and insecure properties, to ensure everyone has a place fit to call home and make a real difference to local communities.”
The research by Nationwide continues to highlight the many issues around housing facing the North of England, as the UK’s biggest building society makes £250,000 available to help make a difference across communities in the Northern region.
The Society invited applications for grants of up to £50,000 for housing projects that have the potential to strengthen communities and help make a difference in local areas, ranging from innovative new housing, improving conditions, to supporting the most vulnerable. Applications were accepted from the following areas: Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside, Cumbria, County Durham, North and East Yorkshire.
Now Nationwide members will have their say on which projects are supported in their local communities, with a Community Board, which is comprised of members, employees, housing charities and experts, appointed. Nationwide members will then be able to vote, in branch or online, for a shortlist of charities to be awarded up to a maximum of £50,000. The Board and Nationwide branches within the region will also be providing time, contacts and expertise to these charities.
Voting is due to open next week and close on 17 November. Website: www.nationwide.co.uk/about/why-choose-nationwide/social-investment/community-grants