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Formerly homeless tenants get 'starter packs'

Published: Thur, 27 Oct 2016
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Packed and ready: Tracey Colgan (left), Senior Officer for Health and Social Well -being Improvement at the Public Health Agency, joins our Assistant Director, Strategic Partnerships, Anne Sweeney and Warehouse Operative Barry Green.
Almost 800 people who have experienced homelessness and are moving into new homes are receiving Home Starter Packs.
The packs will help them rebuild their lives. A microwave, a kettle, a toaster, an iron and ironing board, cutlery and crockery, cleaning equipment and towels are all included in the packs, aimed at helping those previously homeless settle into permanent lodgings.
Managed by the Council for the Homeless NI (CHNI), support for the Home Starter Pack initiative is provided by the Public Health Agency and the Housing Executive.
Public Health Agency are investing £80,000 this year, we are providing £35,000 and storing all the Home Starter Pack contents in a warehouse in Central Belfast before distributing the material across Northern Ireland.
This year, 780 Home Starter Packs will be provided to new tenants.
Anne Sweeney our Assistant Director, Strategic Partnerships, said:
“We are very pleased to be able to assist in this fantastic initiative.
“The Housing Executive has statutory responsibility to respond to homelessness and we are always looking for innovative ways to tackle the problem.
“We are committed to enabling sustainable neighbourhoods and helping new tenants sustain their tenancy – this is a very successful initiative which we are delighted to support.”
Mary Black Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement at the Public Health Agency, said:
“The move from homelessness to more settled accommodation is a huge step and has a major impact on health and wellbeing.
“The Home Starter Packs will be essential in helping to ensure a good start, or restart, after some time without a permanent home.
“Inequalities are a challenge for our society as a whole and this practical support, along with services provided with our partners, will improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
“Working with our partners in the housing and homelessness sector will ensure that this initiative focuses on those in greatest need.”
Ricky Rowledge, Chief Executive of the Council for the Homeless (NI), added:
"On behalf of those organisations working with people moving out of temporary into more permanent accommodation, and the tenants themselves, we are extremely grateful to the Public Health Agency and the Housing Executive for making this generous funding gesture.
“By helping people settle in their new home, this starter packs scheme helps the tenant make their house a home and will go some way to ensure that they are able to maintain and sustain their tenancies - this in turn helps reduce the likelihood of future homelessness.”