Housing association backs campaign to save vital young people’s supported housing service in Herefordshire

Stonewater, a major provider of sheltered housing for vulnerable people in Herefordshire, has put its weight behind a campaign to save a young people’s supported housing project in Leominster from devastating council funding cuts.

The Supported Housing for Young People Project (SHYPP), which houses local young people aged between 16 and 25 years, is calling on the community to support its petition to stop plans by Herefordshire Council to cut its funding by 66%.

SHYPP has warned that these cuts will mean an end to its current support services which help young homeless and vulnerable people in crisis including young people struggling in their tenancies, young parents and those who the organisation helps to return home or find alternatives to being homeless.

“SHYPP provides an absolutely vital support service for homeless and vulnerable people in the county. Seventy per cent of young people we house in the Herefordshire area would have some support or contact with SHYPP’s service,” says Sue Shirt, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Housing. “These cuts would create a significant loss to Stonewater and result in us being much less likely able to accept vulnerable young people. As a result, many young people will end up either homeless or in inappropriate temporary bed and breakfast or bedsit accommodation where they could end up a risk to themselves and the community.”

Sam Pratley, Managing Director for West Mercia Homes says: “SHYPP have always had an excellent working relationship with Stonewater who often provide crucial accommodation for young people on the basis that SHYPP will support them to manage. This is the same relationship we have internally with our Kemble properties but if vulnerable young people no longer get SHYPP support it does make it very hard for housing providers to continue accepting them.”

SHYPP is asking people to show their support by signing their petition at change.org, which they will present to the key councillor responsible for housing, and to use social media to express their support using the hashtag #SupportSHYPP.

The SHYPP petition can be signed at https://www.change.org/p/cllr-patricia-morgan-support-shypp-to-stop-council-from-cutting-66-of-homelessness-services-to-young-people/c