Nationwide helps boost Scottish housing causes with £250,000 fund

As new research reveals the extent of hidden homelessness across Scotland, Nationwide Building Society is making £250,000 available to help make a difference in communities.

The Society is urging its members to vote for which projects should receive a grant of up to £50,000, with polling due to close on July 20.

Applications were invited for grants for housing projects that have the potential to strengthen communities and help make a difference in local areas, ranging from preventing people from being homeless, helping people into a home and supporting people to remain in their homes.

It comes as new research for Nationwide Building Society shows that one in five (20%) people in Scotland have been homeless or have experienced family or close friends without a home of their own.

A third of Scottish adults (34%) see homeless people in their local area at least once a week, while almost one in five (19%) say they see someone they believe to be homeless in their local area every day.

Nationwide’s research also reveals that the vast majority (91%) think homelessness fits the stereotype of sleeping on the street. Others, however, recognise that it’s an issue that is not always obvious, with 63 per cent acknowledging that sofa surfing with friends or living temporarily in a B & B (57%) are actually forms of so-called ‘hidden homelessness’.

Nationwide now wants its members to have their say on which projects are supported in their local communities, which have been chosen by an appointed local Community Board, which is comprised of members, employees and housing experts.

Members can vote in branch or online for the shortlisted charities, which have applied for a maximum £50,000 grant. The Board and Nationwide branches within the region will also be providing time, contacts and expertise to these charities.

Garry Samson, Nationwide’s Regional Director, said: “We recognise there is a housing crisis in Scotland, resulting in many people living in unsuitable, insecure or unaffordable accommodation. So, we are delighted to award £250,000 to communities within Scotland to support housing projects and make a real difference.

“It is now down to our members to make a difference to their local communities and tell us exactly where our funding should be focused – after all, our members know their communities better than anyone else.”

The shortlist of charities is:

  • Crisis Skylight Edinburgh
  • Crisis Skylight Edinburgh works side by side with homeless people to help them rebuild their lives. More details and vote

    • Housing Options for Older People (HOOP)
    • Elderly Accommodation Counsel is partnering with Housing Options Scotland to help older people in Scotland live independently for longer. More details and vote

      • Housing First for Youth
      • Housing First for Youth in West Lothian provides permanent homes and high-intensity support for vulnerable young people leaving care. More details and vote

        • Additional Mental Health Support Service
        • Independent Living Support works across Dumfries and Galloway to support people from ‘simply surviving’ to ‘actively thriving’. More details and vote

          • Hit Squads
          • Fresh Start in Edinburgh helps people who have been homeless get established in their new home and help them resettle. More details and vote

            • Safe home Safe future
            • The Refugee Survival Trusts provides help to people seeking protection through the asylum process who are homeless in Glasgow. More details and vote

              • Aberdeen Cyrenians Drop in Service
              • Aberdeen Cyrenians’ Drop in Service provides a lifeline to hundreds of people each year affected by homelessness. More details and vote

                • Cla-Housing Support Project
                • Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau ensures all individuals receive information, advice and assistance about their rights and responsibilities, including housing and debt. More details and vote

                  • Glasgow Helping Heroes
                  • Glasgow’s Helping Heroes is a service for veterans and their families, supporting them in employment, training and housing. More details and vote

                    • Rooms for Refugees
                    • Positive Action’s Rooms for Refugees helps destitute/homeless refugees access stable shelter and escape destitution and rebuild their lives in Glasgow and Edinburgh. More details and vote

                      • Help at Hand
                      • The Help at Hand project helps older and vulnerable individuals to live independently in their own homes across the Forth Valley. More details and vote

                        • Our Island Home
                        • Our Island Home, created by Rural Housing Scotland, helps island communities create affordable housing options for young homeless people. More details and vote

                          • Supported Accommodation Service
                          • Positive Steps in Dundee works with individuals who have a wide range of potential barriers to sustain independent living. More details and vote

                            Nationwide members can vote online or at their local Nationwide branch until 20 July.

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