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Three Glasgow housing associations sign charter to challenge poverty

Representing more than 12,500 homes for social rent in North West Glasgow, Queens Cross Housing Association, ng Homes and Maryhill Housing pledged their commitment to challenging poverty at a charter signing on Friday.

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The Charter to Challenge Poverty was launched in direct response to SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) figures released on 31 August this year. They show the associations’ areas are home to many of the country’s most deprived households with significant numbers in the top 5%.

The Charter also responds to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation strategy We Can Solve Poverty in the UK published on 6 September 2016. The strategy lays out recommendations for housing providers including a call for more investment in low-cost rented housing, affordable rent setting and help for tenants to become digitally included.

The Charter to Challenge Poverty project was the idea of Queens Cross chief executive, Shona Stephen. Shona, who sits on Glasgow City Council’s Poverty Leadership Panel, said:

“By developing the charter our associations will use our collective voice to challenge the idea that poverty is acceptable in a modern Scotland and do what we can to alleviate its impact. 

“The national statistics prove what we see and deal with on the ground every day; that the impact of poverty on people’s lives, opportunities, education, health and wellbeing is immeasurable and the stigma can last a lifetime.”

Charter commitments include minimising rent increases, installing heating systems to address fuel poverty, increasing availability to low cost banking and money advice, digital inclusion programmes and campaigning on poverty issues.

Lynn Wassell, Chief Executive of Maryhill Housing, explained why the association signed the Charter. She said:

“Our three organisations all share the same goal. It makes absolute sense to work together to support Glasgow City Council and the people of north-west Glasgow to tackle the impacts of poverty. Maryhill Housing is passionate about and committed to eradicating all forms of poverty within our communities.”        

Robert Tamburrini, Chief Executive of ng home, said:

“Because we’re located within the communities we serve, we see exactly what poverty means for local families on a day to day basis. We know it won’t get better by itself.

“That’s why we are so determined to work in partnership with others to highlight what poverty actually means on the ground and develop joint plans to tackle poverty head on.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

“I am pleased to join with these housing associations in the north-west of the city to launch this charter to challenge poverty.  The council will work with our partners wherever and whenever we can to introduce measures that can reduce poverty and make a real difference to those people affected by it.  This charter has several such measures.”

The Chairs of each association attended the event and signed the Charter on their organisations’ behalf.

Challenge Poverty Week, run by The Poverty Alliance, takes place on 16-22 October this year. Its aims are to highlight the reality of poverty, challenge stereotypes, demonstrate action being taken and increase public support.

Pictured: Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council joins Marilyn Clewes, Chair, Queens Cross Housing Association; Roger Popplewell, Chair, Maryhill Housing; John Fury, Chair, ng homes as they sign the new Charter to Challenge Poverty.