HOUSING is always a big issue, but my fear is, in this time of recession, the situation is going to get far worse before it gets better.
We do have a social housing shortage across the borough, with more such properties being in my constituency than in what is classed as traditional Solihull and Shirley.
Obviously people often want accommodation near to their extended family, or want specific types of accommodation.
So it is often the housing mix and geographical location that causes as much anguish as actually getting accommodation.
There is now a partnership between Solihull Council, Solihull Community Housing and a number of housing associations providing ’Solihull Home Options’ which is the allocations scheme.
No one wants to lose their home, but if you are worried that, because of changing circumstances, you may be at risk of doing so, then why not arrange to see a housing advisor at the earliest opportunity.
You will be able to meet at one of Solihull Community Housing’s area offices or one of the council’s Connect offices in Solihull town centre, Shirley, Balsall Common or Chelmsley Wood. Before it’s too late, why not call for an appointment on 0121 717 1515.
Last week I paid a visit to the Big Issue office, newly opened in Birmingham. I was able to hear of some true success stories.
The Big Issue founder John Bird who was once homeless himself warns us all about the dangers of dependency and what he calls an industry which has grown around homelessness.
We need to look at what works to help address the complex needs that homeless people often have including mental health problems and addiction, just putting a roof over someone head is not enough.
I admire the way the Big Issue has really addressed the homelessness problem, working on the philosophy that it is far better to give someone a hand up rather than a hand out.