Dialect – Bristol Council pull funding from homeless hostels

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Bristol City Council are pulling the funding Bristol Foundation Housing

A HOUSING charity which accommodates 149 of the city’s most vulnerable residents has gone into administration.

Bristol Foundation Housing (BFH) has eight sites across the city providing homes for people with mental heath problems and drug and alcohol addictions.

Bristol City Council had been paying the charity £1.8 million a year to allow the organisation to provide housing and support for its tenants.

But BFH went into administration at the beginning of August and could go into liquidation, potentially bringing about the eviction of all its residents.

But Bristol City Council says it has put safeguards in place to ensure none of the tenants are made homeless, and they are able to access advice and assistance.

BFH has accommodation in areas including Bedminster, St Paul’s and Easton. The charity provides housing for those tenants entitled to an exemption benefit, a enhanced payment received on top of housing benefit because they need extra support or supervision.

The city council says there are now several possible outcomes for the charity’s tenants. The authority says the tenants could continue to be accommodated by BFH if the charity continues as a going concern, they could be put up by BFH’s landlord Connolly & Callaghan if the charity folds, or they may be able to find housing with another provider of exempt housing in the city.

The charity’s primary creditor, Connolly & Callaghan, called in administrators Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group to assess whether the organisation can be continued as a going concern.

Angie Ridgwell, Bristol City Council’s interim strategic director said: “We’ve responded swiftly to the news that Bristol Foundation Housing has been placed in administration.

“We have met with the administrators and have continued to make appropriate payments of housing benefit.

“This allows the organisation to operate while we work with them to resolve the situation and, if necessary in the longer term, find alternative accommodation for tenants.

“Our number one concern will be safeguarding vulnerable tenants and we will always work to prevent homelessness and protect those in need.”

Ms Ridgwell said the council had expressed concern for a number of years about the law governing extra payments which can be claimed for ‘exempt accommodation’.

She said: “A recent review of BFH’s properties did not provide evidence to support the levels of payment which were being claimed.

“It was our view that only 21 per cent of their tenants were in need of – or could provide proof that they were receiving – these extra services.

“We will now adjust our payments accordingly based on the specific needs of these tenants and pay approximately 60 per cent less than we did.

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Tenants-left-limbo-Bristol-housing-charity-enters/story-19731456-detail/story.html

Bristol Foundation Housing Google+ page

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About dialectradio

Dialect Radio was Bristol’s first weekly internet radio show which was originally webcast in 2002. It broadcasts a mixture of local human interest stories along with analysis of community issues from right to housing to radical history.

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