Voting is now open for Nationwide members to vote for local housing project
- Charities across Northern Ireland will benefit from grants of up to £50,000
- Nationwide research shows one in five people have been affected by homelessness in Northern Ireland
- A quarter see homeless people in their local area at least once a week
Nationwide, the UK’s biggest building society, is making £250,000 available to help make a difference in communities across Northern Ireland. Now the Society is urging its members¹ to vote for which projects should receive a grant of up to £50,000, with polling due to close on 20 July 2018.
The Society invited applications 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 just under one in five (17%) people in Northern Ireland have been homeless or have experienced family or close friends without a home of their own.
A quarter of adults in Northern Ireland (24%) see homeless people in their local area at least once a week, while almost one in ten (9%) say they see someone they believe to be homeless in their local area every day.
Nationwide’s research also reveals that the vast majority (88%) think homelessness fits the stereotype of sleeping on the street. Others, however, recognise that it’s an issue that is not always obvious, with 52 per cent acknowledging that sofa surfing with friends or living temporarily in a B & B (44%) 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.
Ian Milligan, Nationwide’s Deputy Regional Director, said: “We recognise there is a housing crisis in Northern Ireland, resulting in many people living in unsuitable, insecure or unaffordable accommodation. So, we are delighted to award £250,000 to communities within Northern Ireland 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:
|Action for Children Floating Support Service||Community Integration & Befriending Project||East Belfast Housing Lab
|Connect Family||Safe at Home||An Inclusive Space for People with Learning Disabilities
|Homeless World Cup 2018||Get Active||Tenancy Sustainment
|Compassion Housing||Keys to Life||
Nationwide members can vote online at www.nationwide.co.uk/communityfundingvoting or at their local Nationwide branch until 20 July.