Yesterday was the second anniversary of Spring trading as a company.
Set up as a homeless charity, we wanted to go back to the roots of the social housing movement to help people in most need of housing. Yesterday we got our team together and reflected on some of the achievements and the challenges we have had with a bit of fun mixed in too. As ever, stats and data really don’t tell the whole story but they do give us a picture of what we do. Here are a few highlights from our short history.
All of the below data is from November 10th 2014 to November 10th 2016.
- 711 people and families have been housed by Spring.
- We have 375 units of accommodation 89% of which is procured from the Private Sector. Bringing private investment and using it for a social purpose.
- We work in 6 different regions in the West Midlands
- We have assisted 385 people and families in securing their own independent accommodation.
- We have housed 146 people as part of the Syrian Resettlement Scheme.
- We support and house 144 Refugees. This represents 37.4% of our customer base.
- 181 people we house and support are under 35, those in our sector know that this is a particular challenge with the welfare reforms that are so damaging for young people who don’t have a stable family/ network support structure. In addition we have 101 children living in our family accommodation.
- 48 People have accessed our Rent Relief Scheme this is where we subsidise rents and service charges to support people who find employment after previously being at risk of homelessness.
- We have spent £101,639.77 on the rent relief scheme, this is us putting our money where our mouth is to support people to thrive.
- We have 32 staff that have been an inspiration to me. The list above is really their achievements.
- We have directly employed 3 of our customers they were at risk of homelessness when they first came to us.
The above isn’t an exhaustive list but it hopefully represents a picture that we have made a decent start, we started Spring amongst the backdrop of major welfare reforms, huge reformation of the social housing sector and of course major cuts in funding for nearly all local authorities.
The old adage of doing “more for less” has been part of our narrative from day 1, and it’s not going to change for the foreseeable future, despite these challenges we can do more as a sector, collectively we have to invest to prevent the poverty gap from getting even wider. We can’t rely on our current government to do that for us and I hope in our own small way we represent a small antidote to a decreasing and nervous sector where investment decisions are continually being delayed through uncertainties with government policy in key areas.
We are far from perfect and we will face even greater challenges in the months and years ahead, however one of my greatest privileges has been our team that live the values that were just aims when we started because of them I may get to write another one of these articles a couple of years from now!
By Dominic Bradley
Spring Housing Association