Around 100 people attended a Homelessness Summit at Brent Civic Centre where housing experts offered advice on how residents can either find or keep their home.
Homelessness Summit Launch at Civic Centre
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council, and Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, gave an outline of the housing crisis at the summit, which was held in The Drum conference hall. Rising rents, a high demand on a limited supply of social housing and government cuts to benefits are among the factors that have led to an increase in the number of people threatened with homelessness - writes brent.gov.uk.
Cllr Harbi Farah said: "The Homelessness Summit was a way of raising awareness about solutions to the housing crisis in Brent. We have schemes to help people, like the Single Homelessness Prevention Service and the Find Your Home scheme. It's important that residents know what help is available to them so that they aren't faced with the nightmare of being left without a home."
Brent Council experts in both Housing Needs and Employment, Training and Skills departments explained how people could prevent themselves from becoming homelessness. The solutions included working more hours to beat the benefit cap, ensuring that benefit claimants claim all the financial support that they are entitled to, and utilising support services, such as the Find Your Home scheme.
After the presentations on October 25, attendees had the chance to ask further questions to voluntary service representatives and council staff manning stalls around room.
Brent resident, Andrew Tan, explained that looking for accommodation was the worst experience of his life. "I went out looking for accommodation for three months and it was a nightmare," he said. "I didn't realise how bad the situation was. Landlords of nice private accommodation don't usually accept people on benefits, and the landlords that do, you wouldn't let your worst enemy live in it because the place is in such bad condition."
Brent residents and voluntary sector representatives were also handed infographic packs to spread the word about the support and advice for people concerned about losing their home. The infographics can be downloaded online and shared on social media.
Read also more news of London on our site.