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Hail

Over 580 people with mental health difficulties supported with housing last year

Hail is calling on the Government to provide more sustainable funding for its tenancy sustainment services in the upcoming Budget.

OVER 580 PEOPLE experiencing mental health difficulties were supported by a housing association to secure and maintain accommodation last year. 

Last year, the Housing Association for Integrated Living (Hail), assisted 589 people and increased its housing stock by 29 homes to 452 despite no increase in government funding. 

The charity provides support to their own tenants and to people living in private rented accommodation, local authority and social housing who have a mental health diagnosis and need support in sustaining those tenancies. 

Support workers from Hail help their clients maintain their tenancies and live independently by providing support on developing mental health recovery plans, household budgeting, pursuing employment and education opportunities and maintaining links with family and friends. 

Hail’s tenants have a high rate of tenancy sustainment at 99%.

Speaking to The Journal, Hail CEO Martina Smith said transitioning into independent living can be difficult for many of the charity’s clients. 

Many of Hail’s clients will have come from homelessness or shared hostels. 

“In a lot of cases, it’s their first home or first proper home. Moving is stressful for anybody, so it can be a stressful time,” Smith said. 

The charity works with clients prior to them moving into their homes and provides intensive support in the first nine months as they settle into their properties. 

The charity then works with linking their clients into their new communities. 

“It’s very important. Isolation and loneliness are quite difficult for people with severe and enduring mental health difficulties,” she said. 

The publication of Hail’s annual report for 2021 comes as the Department of Housing on Friday published that latest emergency accommodation figures. 

The figures detail how there were 12,847 people accessing emergency accommodation in July, including 3,829 children and 9,018 adults. 

These are record high figures and are an increase of 247 compared to June, where there were 12,600 people in emergency accommodation.

Funding

Hail is calling on the Government to provide more sustainable funding for mental health tenancy sustainment services in the upcoming Budget. 

The charity current receives funding for its tenancy support service. However, Smith said hasn’t increased in seven or eight years. 

“We want funding that will cover the real cost of delivery of the services,” she said. 

“Also, it’s a highly competitive employment market at the moment. We want to keep our staff that are doing a great job, that’s important to us,” Smith added. 

Hail is also aiming to provide more homes this year to meet the demand for its housing and support services. 

The charity has said that while it is meeting its development targets, it is eager to provide more homes to the people it supports. 

“We are actively seeking partnership opportunities with local authorities, estate agents and property developers to acquire more homes. In particular, we are seeking one-bedroom unit apartments, as this tends to be the most suitable form of accommodation for the people we support,” Smith said in a statement today. 

“We would encourage anyone in the housing sector who is keen to support our growth programme to discuss opportunities with us. Providing more homes is key to our work.”

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