On Wednesday 24th January 2024, Si Johns YMCA Exeter Joint CEO spoke out at Devon County Council’s Adult Health and Scrutiny meeting, reminding councillors that cutting the homelessness prevention funding could see their costs increase ten-fold.
“The budget doesn’t balance if the contribution is removed,” says Si Johns. “Because the costs you will incur could be 10 times more than the contribution you give.
“Not only will Devon County Council see their costs increase but ending funding at this point in the year is counterproductive. This year regulations are being implemented to ensure supported housing is the best value for money. If the cuts go ahead before the assessments have been made, excellent service providers may well be lost.
“Combined with that, the districts are looking to find ways to audit and fund the essential services in other ways other than through Devon County Council’s homelessness preventative funding. Stopping the funding prematurely risks the auditing being unsuccessful and essential services being lost.”
YMCA Exeter is urging Devon County Council to continue funding homelessness prevention until the end of the next financial year of (24-25), until alternative options can be found.
The next big date is Wednesday 13th March. Devon County Council’s Cabinet will be meeting to make final decisions.
Before then, we need your help:
- Join us in praying for a longer-term homelessness strategy to evolve.
- Email your Devon County councillor with this statement email
Your councillors provide a link between you and the council. You can be an advocate for local homeless people and keep councillors informed about the issues that affect your area.
Below are some simple steps and template copy to help you access your councillor.
- Find your local councillors on the map: https://www.devon.gov.uk/democracy/councillors-by-map/
- Email template to local councillors
Devon County Council’s homelessness prevention funding continues to hang in the balance.
As my local councillor, I am writing to urge you to fight against the potential homelessness prevention funding cuts.
Are you aware that if you go ahead with the cuts, it won’t help to balance your budget? In the long run you will end up paying 10 times more than the contribution you currently give.
Through the current package, Devon County Council is paying YMCA Exeter a contribution of just £35 a week towards the essential support services they provide to 85 homeless young people, whom they house. Each year around 100 young people move through these 85 spaces having been given the chance to turn their lives around and progress on with their lives.
That’s a 24/7 Personalised Support Service, for just £5 per person per day!
If the Homeless Prevention Contribution is cut, Devon County Council could see an increase to their costs of over £924,000 due to those homeless young people not receiving the care they need at a critical time.
Devon County Council has extended the 18+ homelessness prevention fund until June 2024. But the funding needs to continue for longer, at least until the end of the 2024-2025 financial year.
If Devon County Council go ahead with the cuts, not only will they see their costs increase but ending funding at this point in the year is counterproductive. This year the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 aims to introduce regulations to ensure supported housing is the best value for money. If the cuts go ahead before the assessments have been made, excellent service providers may well be lost.
District and City Councils are looking to find ways to audit and fund their essential services in other ways than through Devon County Council’s homelessness preventative funding. Stopping the funding prematurely risks the auditing being unsuccessful and essential services being lost.
Please take the time to understand the details and challenge the figures. YMCA Exeter produced a detailed report explaining the misunderstanding around savings in this area.
We need Devon County Council to continue funding homelessness prevention until the end of the next financial year (2024-2025), allowing time for alternative funding options to be found.
Please continue this conversation in person
To chat through the costs and understand more of the details please call YMCA Exeter on 01392 410530
To see the work YMCA Exeter does and meet with some of the young residents please email YMCA Exeter to arrange a visit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use your role as a local councillor to speak up on this issue and turn the decision around so that no vulnerable young people will be facing homelessness.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Full address and postcode
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