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SALIX HOMES EVICTING SALFORD PEOPLE BUT HAS £1.3MILLION HOMELESS CONTRACT
 

Star date: 8th November 2017

SALIX MAKING PEOPLE HOMELESS BUT COUNCIL RENEWS COMPANY'S HOMELESSNESS CONTRACT

'Even the illegal squat was full...'

Last month, Salford Council renewed the £1.3million per year contract for Salix Homes to manage homelessness in the city. Yet Salix is actually making people homeless by evicting them for rent arrears and other issues. Surely a conflict of interest?

Here the Salford Star follows one guy who was evicted by Salix and has spent nights in bus stations and hospital receptions. There's no space in Salford hostels, there's no chance of a Salix home...even the illegal squat in Manchester was full.

Full details here...


'There's not a shortage of flats in Salford; there's a shortage of ethics...'

Two weeks ago, the Salford Star met a guy who was made homeless when Salix Homes evicted him from his house for rent arrears. The arrears were cleared just after the court hearing and this bloke was actually £300 in credit; but the bailiffs moved in anyway.

However, as far as this article goes, the bloke's back story and name are irrelevant. The point is that he was put out on the streets and made homeless by Salix Homesbut Salix Homes also has the contract with Salford Council for managing homelessness.

How does that work? It doesn't because, since Salford Council's social housing stock in East and Central Salford was privatised, or 'transferred' to Salix, they are a law unto themselves. They're not going to chuck this bloke out of one home, only to sort him out with another. So he became a rough sleeper statistic.

In October, Salford City Council extended the £1.377million a year contract with Salix Homes to manage 'homelessness, housing advice, allocations and supported tenancies services' in the city.

The contract was agreed by just four Cabinet members – Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, together with Deputy Mayors John Merry and Paula Boshell, and Finance Lead, Bill Hinds - with the report and details kept secret; in Part 2 of the Procurement Board meeting due to 'customer confidentiality'.

The decision notice merely states; "The services are providing good quality overall, meeting contract requirements and specifications. There are no performance reasons why the council should not want these services to continue to be delivered by Salix Homes in the near future."

Any conflict of interest issues were not even mentioned. With Salix not an option, this bloke sat in the car of the Star editor, while phone calls were made trying to get him somewhere to stay. It was a Friday, after 4pm, and everyone seemed to have gone home.

Phone lines to agencies were on answerphone, every hostel contacted was full or was asking for a referral, and the Council offices were closed, although a message was passed onto the emergency social worker.

In the meantime, we tried cheap B&Bs which were all full, and we even phoned the illegal squat in Manchester – but that was full to bursting too.

The bloke wanted to be dropped off at Regent Road Retail Park, and on the short drive from Swinton, down the Crescent, we passed sites for literally hundreds and hundreds of new 'luxury apartments'. There's not a shortage of flats in Salford; there's a shortage of ethics.

The guy phoned us later and said that the emergency Council social worker had been in touch and had sorted him three nights out of the city at a B&B in Sale. This was 1:30am. He subsequently told us that he'd walked there as there were no buses.

That was around two weeks ago. Since then, the bloke got another three nights accommodation sorted out in Bolton but collapsed with stress before he could get there and was taken into Salford Royal Hospital. When he was discharged, he slept in the reception as there was nowhere else to go. The night after, we understand, he slept in Chorlton Street Bus Station.

Agencies and voluntary organisations have since been trying to help with clothes and food but still there's no home in sight. He's bottom of the list when it comes to housing – a single man (even though he has an estranged partner and children); classed as 'intentionally homeless', with no drug or alcohol problems, and no disability. Just someone fallen on hard times. And now on the streets.

Meanwhile, Salix Homes are continuing to seek evictions from its properties for those with arrears and other issues. There is one impending court case for evicting a disabled man for, basically, complaining about his property – or 'causing nuisance and annoyance to the Claimant's employees, agents, servants or contractors', in legal speak. If successful, Salix will be evicting a disabled person onto the streets.

Today, the shocking Shelter report came out, with Salford having the second highest level of homelessness in the North West. Questions must be asked whether Salix are part of the solution – or part of the problem...


The Salford Star asked Salix Homes to comment on the case of the homeless man mentioned in this article – and to comment on a potential conflict of interest surrounding the £1.3million contract to manage 'homelessness, housing advice, allocations and supported tenancies services' in the city...

Salix didn't respond to the specific questions but stated: "Salix Homes does not believe it is fair to comment on individual cases. Eviction is always a last resort and we endeavour to support and engage with residents who accrue significant levels of arrears before seeking legal action. As part of that support, we also offer customers a range of options to make arrangements to pay any outstanding arrears.
 
"We would urge anyone who is struggling to pay their rent to contact us on 0800 218 2000."


For a full background to the Shelter report see previous Salford Star article: Salford Second Highest Level of Homelessness in the North West – click here

 



All’s rosey in salford, poverty, what poverty, there’s no poverty in salford, I drink Champaign for breakfast old chap. wrote
at 3:09:01 AM on Saturday, November 11, 2017
Paul dennet speaking in the mirror NEWS POLITICS SPORT FO NEWS How a city is tackling poverty by giving a voice to its poorest citizens Since being elected a year ago, Mayor Paul Dennett has been radically reshaping the way things are done in Salford, from giving care workers a 10.7% pay rise to investing in social housing By Ros Wynne Jones 21:44, 2 NOV 2017 Salford Mayor Paul Dennett has been radically reshaping the way things are done in Salford (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror) “It’s time to change politics,” says the Mayor of Salford, at a packed meeting of the Truth Poverty Commission in his home city. “Either politics is done to us, or we shape it.” Since being elected a year ago, Mayor Paul Dennett has been radically reshaping the way things are done in Salford. Last month he gave care workers a 10.7% pay rise. His town hall has given the go-ahead for seven new library sites at a time when many councils are closing them. As other parts of the UK face maternity unit closures, the council has stepped in to ‘Keep Babies Born in Salford’ by opening a new midwife-led unit where 300 babies may now be delivered each year. Salford has also invested £2million into a development company – in order to kickstart building of social housing that won’t fall under the government’s new Right To Buy policy. The company is called Derive – named after a joke involving revolutionary Italian situationists. All of which looks like a blueprint for a Labour government, or what unashamedly interventionist Dennett calls “sensible socialism”. Laura Kendall says Salford "has been written off so many times but it’s full of people with something to add"Slashing six-week waiting time for Universal Credit would have a relatively low cost says leading thinktank The 36-year-old mayor is passionate about using his £200million budget to end poverty , partly because he has never forgotten what it feels like to come up the hard way, through a childhood he describes as at times “horrific” and something “I wouldn’t wish on anyone”. Scarred by domestic abuse and his younger brother’s fight against leukaemia , he failed his GCSEs and A- levels and by 18 was working in a “sweat shop” call centre. “I had an interesting journey,” he says wryly, at his offices in Swinton. “I grew up in a family where there was traumatic violence and abuse. My dad became an alcoholic and I struggled at school in my early teens.” A power station fitter by trade, Paul’s dad went on to manage The Engine pub in Liverpool’s Prescot area, where his alcoholism began. Paul’s mum, a cleaner, ran the pub as her marriage disintegrated. Later in life, Paul won a place to study International Business at the University of Ulster, where he achieved a first- class honours degree. He went on to Manchester Business school before doing a PhD at Manchester Met, working as a civil servant and then for a utilities company. Now living in Salford – where he became a tenants’ leader and then a local councillor – as council leader he sees the Truth Poverty Commission as part of a new way of doing politics, with people’s consent. The 36-year-old mayor is passionate about using his £200million budget to end poverty (Image: Manchester Evening News) Based on a model that has been used in Glasgow and Leeds, the Commissioners include people with experience of poverty. “Consultation usually means organisations telling you about their plans,” says community worker Jayne Gosnall, 54, who is recovering from alcohol addiction. “This is about really listening to people with experience.” The Commission is independent but supported by Salford City Council, the Mayor and the Bishop of Salford, and facilitated by Church Action on Poverty and Community Pride. It has led to the council bringing in a raft of measures that will transform lives – from waiving birth certificate fees for homeless people to changing the way the council chases debt. Debbie Brown, transformation director at Salford City Council, says: “We come into these meetings and we hug each other – that’s not what normally happens in council meetings,” she says. “But the other thing that stopped me in my tracks was the City Council being identified as a cause of poverty. “We heard stories about what it was like for people hiding from council tax collection agents, people being afraid, and that’s not a city I recognise. Debbie Brown says the City Council is 'changing a lot already' These are the next Job Centres where Universal Credit is being rolled out “We’re changing a lot already. We’re going back to the personal, identifying people who are struggling to pay and looking again at what we can do. “We won’t be using bailiffs for those in receipt of council tax reduction and young care leavers are exempt.” Laura Kendall, 33, a mum of two and a youth worker, suffered undiagnosed mental health problems as a teenager and was placed in care. “Sharing my story for this project was difficult but very powerful for me,” she says. “I want people to know their voices will be heard, that a child growing up in the care system can have a better chance. “I’d spent my whole life trying to get people to listen to me and got used to being rejected. This area has been written off so many times but it’s full of people with something to add.” Salford’s mayor is determined to listen. “This is about working-class communities coming together and a spirit of solidarity,” Dennett says. “It’s the spirit of Salford in action.” Comments Sign In 1) “Consultation usually means organisations telling you about their plans,” says community worker Jayne Gosnall, ..." This is exactly what is happening at the highest levels in NHS England. Time and again Public & Patients (P&P) are told we are to be consulted on some important matter. Consultation groups are carefully chosen by Ms Cummings - Chief Nurse, in consultation with NED Lord Victor Adebowale CBE. Representatives of the P&P will be from groups which claim to represent P&P = members of the Voluntary and Social Enterprise sector. Those who increasingly rely on HM Gvt, and NHS, for their existence. Ordinary P&P are not welcome, no matter how democratic and representative their delegating organization. 2) “This is about really listening to people with experience.” Which is exactly what these power hungry cabals do NOT want. "We" will not get our voices heard until we take the power from these people. Reply Share Report 2 0 SiGiDi1963 8 DAYS AGO Well done to Salford, its Mayor and all those involved in creating a better community -- we see that it can be done , all it needs is the will to do it Reply Share Report 5 0
 
life is loud wrote
at 2:04:10 AM on Thursday, November 9, 2017
Always pay your rent its a priority to keep a roof over your head. There is no need to get into arrears if you learn how to manage your money.
 
Dave wrote
at 12:23:33 AM on Thursday, November 9, 2017
Can Salix tell us exactly what they have done with this £1.3million. Apparently it is someone called Kelly Maloney there who deals with the homeless section but when I tried to find out what they were doing she never got back to me. Perhaps the Star should investigate further.
 
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