Crisis estimates that 200,000 people were living on the streets during 2020. The government acted to prevent a further rise in homelessness through the Everyone In scheme. This was a welcome initiative, but it did not provide the certainty that many individuals living in these temporary forms of housing needed.

Mario Carrozzo

Mario Carrozzo

Social housing stock continues to fall. In 2019-20, just under 40,000 social homes were sold while almost 5,000 were demolished, according to the ONS. The state of this sector was the basis for Caridon Property’s formation in 2009. Our methodology for delivering housing is aligned to the needs of local authorities.

We specialise in providing interim, permanent and emergency accommodation, working with more than 30 councils to provide a supportive pathway towards housing solutions. We know this concept works, as our collaboration at Imperial Apartments with Bristol City Council has enabled us to house more than 300 homeless individuals and families on long-term tenancies.

However, we recognise it is not enough to simply provide a home. Our sister organisation, the Caridon Foundation, is currently supporting 800-plus individuals with mental wellbeing, vocational training and budgeting services. This is our model, but other pioneering ideas are coming to fruition in the sector and must be supported. Recent studies of alternative housing models, such as Freedom2Work, have shown that multi-pronged social housing programmes that not only address immediate housing needs but also provide additional support services are effective in tackling homelessness.

Housebuilding

Source: Shutterstock / Paul Maguire

Councils need to be receptive to working with partners that can take an all-encompassing view of an individual’s situation to avoid more people being channelled into the homelessness system. Private companies working in joint ventures with councils provide a more holistic approach.

Alternative accommodation, which can come in the form of converted commercial premises, can be utilised as a vital resource. In this way, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are necessary. The need for affordable housing will not go away and now is the time to futureproof and prepare acceptable levels of stock to be able to secure our communities’ futures.

Mario Carrozzo is founder and chief executive of Caridon Property