End Furniture Poverty: Rehousing homeless people must include furniture

End Furniture Poverty, part of the charity FRC Group, has urged local authorities rehousing homeless people after the coronavirus lockdown to provide people suffering from homelessness with furniture. 

Following the success of Everybody In, when thousands of rough sleepers were taken inside and given a safe place to live during the coronavirus lockdown, the charity warned it is now Everybody Out – but where to?

Local authorities across the country are working with social housing and charity partners to find secure, permanent accommodation for homeless people while facing huge challenges with funding and resources.

However, End Furniture Poverty has said that people should not be moved into empty boxes, they need more than just a roof over their heads if the tenancy is going to last.

The charity wants to find out what furniture, including white goods, is being provided in this accommodation so we can share examples of best practice and put together a short guide to give advice and support with the provision of furniture.

It said: “These are unprecedented times and the challenges are immense, but this is also an opportunity to transform the lives of thousands of homeless people – let us work together to help make these new homes as sustainable as possible and give tenancies a real chance to last by furnishing them now.”

End Furniture Poverty believes that everyone should have access to all the essential furniture items that allow people to live a normal life. This includes a bed, sofa, cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, wardrobe, chest of drawers, window and floor coverings. The charity also believes that furnished tenancies are an excellent way to provide many of these items for some people living in Furniture Poverty.

The charity warned that Local Welfare Provision schemes provided by local authorities have been hard hit by austerity with many closed or with very limited budgets.

It praised the “many fantastic people” working tirelessly to find properties suitable to provide a permanent home for former rough sleepers but added that the timescales are tight and these are not normal times.

End Furniture Poverty has compiled a short survey for everyone involved in the provision of housing for homeless people to find out what is happening and where.

The charity will use this information, as well as the work it has done over the years, to establish what help might be available and how to access it.

End Furniture Povery said: “We know there are no easy answers and unfortunately no ‘magic money trees’ to help people who have nowhere else to turn. End Furniture Poverty, and many others, have called on the Government to provide adequate funding and support to offer decent homes but while we wait, we have to act now.”

The charity has asked for individuals to complete the survey or contact them directly at info@EndFurniturePoverty.org to explain what you are doing – or what you think could be done.

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