Redcar & Cleveland Mind
Safe And Secure Homes For Those In Need Of Them
Redcar and Cleveland Mind has jumped at the opportunity provided by the £183,000 funding it received from the DCLG’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme to provide housing for its service users. While participation in the Programme may seem an unusual move for a mental health organisation, there were compelling reasons to get involved. Many people they spoke to were reporting difficulties with their current housing situation; by getting involved directly Mind can ensure safe and secure homes for those in need of them. Moreover, by building up an asset base the organisation is able to provide a greater range of overall services.
Redcar and Cleveland Mind purchased their first property (ahead of schedule!) in September 2013, which will provide a secure family home.
Service users have influenced decision-making at every stage of the process and Mind have found partnerships and local knowledge vital in their success. This helpful guidance, along with the hands-on experience that comes from renovating an entire property(!) the organisation have seen their knowledge of the housing sector expand rapidly over the course of the project.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. One lesson Mind learned the hard way is how unpredictable old houses can be! Add to this a lethal combination of rogue builders, dishonest vendors and unhappy residents and things can get very tricky (not to mention costly).
Rotting wood does not make for a pleasant discovery…
Despite these bumps along the way, Redcar and Cleveland Mind have prevailed. They’re signing up to the Landlords Charter with Redcar and Cleveland Council and have been granted funding through the CHIEF Programme to develop further housing capacity. They’ve also provided training to an ex-offender volunteering with the organisation.
When asked if they would do the same again (bumps and all), the answer is a resounding yes. It may not have been a simple journey, but anything worth doing rarely is. All in all, the Programme has enabled the organisation to provide vulnerable people with a home. And that, in Redcar and Cleveland Mind’s view, is definitely something worth building on.
Contact: Veronica Hartnett Chief Executive Officer, Redcar and Cleveland Mind
Tel: 01642 296052
Address: The HotSpot Café, 6-8 West Dyke Road, Redcar, TS10 1DZ.