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Homebase to Support Prince William's Homewards Programme

Homebase Chester store front
  • Homewards Activator Homebase pledges support worth £1 million for Homewards innovative housing projects
  • Sheffield landlords commit to providing homes for families on the brink of or experiencing homelessness

On a visit to Sheffield today, Prince William will unveil two new major commitments to help prevent homelessness in the city and across each of the six flagship Homewards locations. 

In their role as Homewards Activator, Homebase has announced it will pledge £1 million worth of support to families and individuals on the brink of or experiencing homelessness.

The retailer has agreed to provide up to 1500 'Home Starter Packs’ to the innovative housing projects which will be built across each of the six Homewards locations, as well as other housing solutions created through the programme. Packs will also be provided to residents at the new 24-home project in Nansledan, recently announced by Prince William and Homewards Activator, The Duchy of Cornwall.

The ‘Home Starter Packs’ could include paint, furniture, flooring and furnishings. The packs will support residents to make their new accommodation feel like home, giving them a solid foundation to thrive and reducing the risk of future homelessness. Each of the starter packs will be created in consultation with the residents moving into accommodation, alongside sector partners and housing experts.

Damian McGloughlin, CEO, Homebase said: ‘At Homebase, we know how important it is to have a place to call home, and we’re committed to co-producing Home Starter Packs with the people who will be using them. Over the next five years, we’ll help end the cycle of homelessness by supporting a fresh start with a fresh lick of paint, and all their home needs.’

Housing campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa – who has experienced homelessness with his own family and now campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality housing – is also helping to create the packs. Kwajo will work with Homebase, Homewards and residents to ensure the packs provide the things the families need to create comfortable homes that support their wellbeing, something proven to prevent future homelessness.

Kwajo Tweneboa, said: ‘Safe, permanent and secure housing is paramount to ensure homelessness does not become part of a family’s story.  It’s an honour to be part of the work with Homebase and Homewards to help ensure that families who are struggling can have somewhere to live that feels like home. From there they can build the foundations to really thrive.’

Each Homewards flagship location will deliver its own innovative housing project, designed to meet local needs and test new ways to unlock homes at scale. In Sheffield, family homelessness has been an increasing issue in recent years. To help address this, Homewards will focus on unlocking more affordable, long term family homes from across the rented sector.

Today, landlords from across the city including Keystone Property Group, Places for People, Letzmove, My Landlord Cares and Arches Housing have collectively pledged an initial 33 three and four-bedroom properties for families on the brink of or experiencing homelessness in Sheffield. Throughout the project, they will work with Homewards to develop a package of support for both tenants and landlords to sustain tenancies.

A key aim of the Homewards programme is to galvanise national momentum to end homelessness. Today’s announcements aim to inspire other landlords and businesses to step forward to provide support in Sheffield, the other Homewards locations and beyond.

Amanda Berry, CEO, The Royal Foundation said: ‘Bringing together local and national partners to develop new solutions is vital if we want to end homelessness. Through this major investment from Homebase, and support from local landlords, people will be able to create safe, comfortable and secure homes for themselves and their families to thrive. We are so grateful to our partners for their support and look forward to building on these foundations as we work together to demonstrate that it is possible to end the cycle of homelessness in our six Homewards locations and inspire similar projects across the UK.’

A five-year locally led programme, created by Prince William and The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales, Homewards is taking a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness. With collaboration at the centre of its mission, Homewards will give its six flagship locations, including Sheffield, the space, tools, and relationships to showcase what can be achieved through a collective effort focused on preventing homelessness.

Source : Homebase

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19 March 2024

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