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SALFORD HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE EXCLUDES HOMELESS AT OVER £325 PER TICKET
 

Star date: 16th January 2018

SALFORD UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE PROMISES 'UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS' – WITH NO HOMELESS PEOPLE PRESENT

A University of Salford conference which promises to "provide unique insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions to the homelessness crisis" is charging £325+VAT per ticket, thus excluding not only the homeless but also grass roots housing organisations.

One of the speakers is Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, while a panel will ask 'How can we most effectively improve services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals?'...without any 'vulnerable homeless' people there to share their views.

Full details here...


A University of Salford Professional Development Conference titled Solutions To The Housing Crisis, to take place in March, is charging £325+VAT per ticket to hear speakers providing "unique insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions to the homelessness crisis"...

The problem is that, at that price, almost everyone except those involved in the homelessness industry (as it's become) will be excluded. This contrasts sharply with the Housing Ideas Exchange which took place at the Manchester Metropolitan University before Christmas which was free, and to which everyone had an open invite, including politicians, professionals, homeless people and campaign groups (see here).

Hardly anyone in authority actually turned up to that one, to actually mix with real people facing homelessness and vulnerability. At the Salford University conference, behind expensive entry fees to keep the 'scum' out, there will be a session by Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, on such issues as 'Developing innovative solutions to the problem' and 'ensuring every Greater Mancunian has a safe and stable roof over their head'...

Salford Council's previous 'innovative solution' to housing has been social cleansing on a mass scale, bulldozing as many affordable properties as possible (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

Other sessions at the Conference (not confirmed) include Matthew Downie, from Crisis, on 'ensuring that crisis and its policy influencing work is informed and embedded in the lived experience of people who are homeless and in the experience of front-line homelessness services'...And one from Professor Anya Ahmed, Head of Social Policy at University of Salford, on 'Examining the legislation from the perspective of service users'...

"Clearly, at £325 entry, there won't be any service users there or homeless there to share their 'lived experiences'" says Debi Blanchard of Greater Manchester Housing Action "This is just professionals talking to each other. I want to know who is making money from all this? It's so wrong to make money from homelessness."

Greater Manchester Housing Action emailed Salford University's OneCDP Professional Development Department asking if there were any reduced or complimentary tickets available for grass-roots organisations, with the reply that they could apply like everyone else for an Early Bird ticket at £227.50+VAT.

"We call on organisers to make available some free tickets to service users to fulfil the Homeless Partnership claim that co-production and lived experience are valued by the GM Homeless Strategy at all times and levels, not just when it's convenient for professionals to permit the homeless entry or exclude them via ticket price" says Debi.

Meanwhile, attendees can take part in a Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A on 'How can we most effectively improve services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals?'...safe in the knowledge that the 'vulnerable homeless' won't be there to contradict them.


For more details of the Conference – click here.

See also related Salford Star articles...

No Compassion As Manchester Homeless Squat Evicted – click here

Peel Holdings Salford Building Squatted By Homeless – click here

Five Sites That Salford City Council Should Open Up For The Homeless – click here

wishful thinker wrote
at 08:17:54 on 18 January 2018
What we need here are a couple of highly motivated sort of local people who could talk to all these experts at this conference. Ideally ,these people would have a first hand understanding of the needs of the people Mr Backhouse refers to as "service users".Perhaps they may have done some charitable work with people less fortunate than themselves. They would also need some sort of buisness acumen.This is a must. A good knowledge of houses would go down well. They would need to know on good terms the people in places like the Town Hall, and be trusted there. They would sadly have to be on speaking terms with some of our politicians.Connections with a social network of people and organisations that are charitably and community minded would also help. They wood need to know how to get things done and how much things cost in the real world. Most important of all, these people would have to be well known and respected by all parts of our borough.All parts.People would have to be able to say "yes we know these people are doing it for the good, not themselves". Do people like that exist in Salford? I can think of a couple.
 
Alice wrote
at 08:17:34 on 18 January 2018
I don't object to housing professionals getting together to share research and solutions. They will have gathered evidence from those who are homeless. However, I DO object to the price of the tickets and the fact that the organisation responsible for this conference is using homelessness as an excuse for making money. It's hypocrical and a business. If you look at the information on the Salford University site you will see there are other conferences, all using 'public need' to make money. Most housing professionals will know the causes and the answers without a conference!
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 20:23:11 on 17 January 2018
Bang on Ged and Michael, bang on. I also am having to try and help an old friend of mine with this change of benefits lark and all that crap.She is in her sixties and was on the sick, invalidity and PIP. She was ok. took her of pip,took sick off her, put her on universal credit and got her housing costs mixed up. she was at her wits end worried about her housing future.I struggled a bit to get to grips with all this crap, but if you stand up to these thugs the right way, and cause them as much official bullshit as they cause you, you can turn the tables on them. trouble is, a lot of people do not have someone to help them, and they are afraid off authority, these are the ones that loose out. its all wrong.
 
Ged Brough wrote
at 18:55:29 on 17 January 2018
I would suggest the homeless are unfortunaly little more than a means to make money for the elitist great and the good. This confrence demonstates social exclusion of the homeless, while they wring there hands and pontificate about the problem little will come from it. As a former support worker there are interventions that can be done to prevent some homelessness before eviction takes place.Local authority and housing asociations could change the admin process for HB before notice is served also if someone is prepared to advocate on behalf of the individual alternatives could be explored.There are ways and means.Tenancy support should be there when required not when its to late.
 
Michael Herbert wrote
at 18:54:59 on 17 January 2018
David Backhouse is right.Real homeless people at this conference would just get in the way of the real issue ie how can middle-class housing professonals develop their careers and increse their pay and move to leafy suburbs asap
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 05:24:34 on 17 January 2018
What a two faced shirt front.
 
David Backhouse wrote
at 05:24:29 on 17 January 2018
The argument that "service users" need to be at a professional conference about homelessness is ridiculous. Whilst I have sympathy and have offered support to homeless people in the past, I just can't get my head around the degree of contribution that a homeless person could make in this context. Last year the same organisation, Salford University Professional Development Unit, held a conference on "The Future of Diabetes". I have had diabetes for 56 years but I didn't feel that I should be included in their audience. The title should give a clue. It's a conference for professional people, hence the exorbitant price for tickets.
 
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