A local Exeter charity is celebrating after making a successful bid for funding from Nationwide Building Society for its work to support housing in the area.
Nationwide, the UK’s biggest building society, has been looking to support charities dealing with the many issues around housing in the South West area, and made £500,000 available to help make a difference across communities across the region.
Locally based YMCA Exeter has been announced as one those charities to have secured funding from Nationwide and they have been awarded £44,071 towards their innovation housing solutions project.
YMCA Exeter is aiming to address the housing crisis by providing additional and affordable, long-term Supported Accommodation for young people aged 16-29. Having recently embarked on a seven-year housing strategy, the charity seeks to increase their provision of housing from 52 units to over 100 units by 2024.
Financial support from Nationwide will go towards the salary of a Project Manager to set the strategy into motion by developing key stakeholder relationships, negotiating and purchasing additional properties and innovating the referrals process between agencies so that young people are more able to find the kind of accommodation that most meets their needs.
Nationwide invited applications for grants of up to £50,000 for housing projects that have the potential to strengthen communities and help make a difference in local areas, ranging from innovative new housing, improving conditions, to supporting the most vulnerable. Applications were accepted from across the South West area.
Gareth Sorsby, Joint CEO for YMCA Exeter, said: “As a Housing Association, YMCA Exeter is committed to supporting young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and as affordable accommodation is increasingly scarce, we are proud to be partnering with the Nationwide to offer solutions that will enable our residents to retain their YMCA accommodation even when their need for support decreases.
“Our vision is to support young people to become embedded into their communities, so they do not experience continued up-rootedness by being moved around housing projects in the city. More so, unlike traditional housing support we will not require a deposit or rent up front from our tenants, recognising that these are huge barriers in securing long term accommodation.”
Dan Still, Nationwide’s Regional Director for the South West, said: “We know that there are many people who have been homeless or have experienced family or close friends without a home of their own, so it’s imperative that we do something about this.
“Helping people into homes of their own is at the heart of what we do as a building society, which is why we’re making funding available for local housing projects. In fact, we’re making £22 million available for the next over five years across the UK to do just this and ensure everyone has a place fit to call home.”
A Community Board of Nationwide members, employees and local housing experts was appointed to have a say on which local community projects were supported.