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Housing charity to go into liquidation due to funding cuts

Voluntary liquidation for Housing Action

IHousing Action - voidless lettings was really sad to learn recently that housing charity Housing Action was to go into voluntary liquidation. I see this is now confirmed, in this article in Norwich Evening News.

This charity did a lot of good work. It leased houses from landlords giving them a guaranteed rent, and then used the properties to house homeless and about to become homeless people. Most were on housing benefit.

It had, it seems some 300 properties at present and was working towards 600. It worked with local authorities and had formal agreements with two.

Now, not only is it is going to be more difficult for desperate homeless people (apparently the charity was approached by some 500-600 people per year in ‘severe and dire straits’), but those who are already in occupation may not be allowed to stay

The Eastern Landlords Association has also warned some of its members were looking at moving out tenants so they could bring in new people, rather than keep those chosen by Housing Action.

Peter Davis, Eastern Landlords Association chief executive, said: “In all good faith, a lot of our landlords took up this offer from Housing Action. The one thing they didn’t expect was for a registered charity to go bust.

Housing Action has been around for quite a while. It started in 1989 working mainly in the Norfolk and Suffolk area although it had plans to expand into other areas. However it was not to be :

A statement, released by the liquidators and the Housing Action board, said the organisation relied on grants for part of its income but this had reduced “significantly” in the last 12 months due to difficulties facing the charitable sector.

The statement continued: “The trustees sought appropriate advice and came to the conclusion that while the charity was not insolvent, the risks associated with trying to continue as a going concern were too great.

“They reluctantly decided that the best course of action was to seek voluntary liquidation.”

Of course it is not just the tenants who will suffer. Housing Action also had staff who will now have been made redundant.

Although cutting grants such as those provided to Housing Action will ‘save money’, looking at things in the round, the long term costs will undoubtedly be considerably more than the cash saved today.

Not to mention the misery of desperate people having one less place to turn to in their time of need.

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About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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