Four Reasons Why We Signed Up to the Commitment to Refer
Ian Martin Is Executive Director of Operations at Estuary Housing Association.
Don’t underestimate the impact your organisation can have on ending homelessness – sign up to the Commitment to Refer.
We didn’t take much persuading here at Estuary to sign up to the Commitment to Refer – we wouldn’t have objected to housing associations being included under the Homelessness Reduction Act’s statutory Duty to Refer to begin with.
But housing associations weren’t, it is voluntary for us. So why did we so readily sign up? Well, there were four main reasons:
- It fits our organisational values of excellence, care and innovation. This means we don’t simply follow a process that ends in eviction. We use our resources to ensure that, wherever possible, we can sustain a tenancy.
- It demonstrates that we are playing our part in supporting our local authority partners. We already refer those at risk of homelessness and have seen first hand that early referral and joint intervention can sometimes help bring about a change in behaviour – a realisation of the seriousness of someone’s circumstances.
- It clearly benefits the communities in which we work. We all know that maintaining someone in a safe and secure home has huge benefits for the tenant themselves and wider society. Homelessness helps no one.
- Finally, it’s good business. It helps reduce void costs and lost rent. It also, by helping our local authority partners, saves valuable council tax funds by reducing the costs of bed and breakfasts.
As a Homes for Cathy member, the Commitment to Refer also supports our ambition to meet the nine commitments agreed with Crisis.
How can your organisation sign up?
Signing up is simple, just email the Federation with your name, job title and organisation. They will do the rest for you.
The Federation has negotiated this voluntary Commitment to Refer with the Government on our behalf and we believe it’s an opportunity not an obligation. Our sector plays a vital role in ending homelessness, and we should be proud of our commitment to do that.