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Housing groups unite to challenge poverty

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​Associations believe they can do more to challenge daily poverty they encounter

Three Glasgow housing associations are working together to write a new charter for challenging poverty.

The idea came from Shona Stephen, chief executive of Queens Cross Housing Association, in response to survey data revealing the extent of poverty within the associations in north Glasgow communities.

Local social landlords Maryhill Housing Association and NG Homes have now agreed to come on board with Queens Cross.

The charter will list the associations’ commitments to alleviate the problem.

As part of these commitments, Queens Cross have pledged to The Poverty Alliance’s ‘Stick Your Labels’ campaign, which challenges organisations to set out their contribution to help tackle the issue.

Because we’re located within the communities we serve, we see exactly what poverty means for local families

The association also took part in Challenge Poverty Week (17 -23 October), led by The Poverty Alliance.

Shona Stephen said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with our neighbours Maryhill Housing Association and NG Homes on a Charter for Challenging Poverty.

“In light of ongoing cuts to the welfare budget and public sector spending, we know the vital importance of providing services which go beyond bricks and mortar.

“The Charter will represent a joint commitment to making sure we’re doing all we can to improve life opportunities in our communities.”

Lynn Wassell, chief executive of Maryhill Housing Association, said: “Over the last 18 months, the financial inclusion team at Maryhill have helped tenants secure an extra £4m in welfare and other benefits. This gives some idea of the scale of the challenges we’re tackling.

“By working together, our associations can maximise our resources and impact across more than 17,000 households in north Glasgow. This Charter can really make a difference.”

Robert Tamburrini, chief executive of ng homes, 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.”

The Charter for Challenging Poverty will be launched at a Challenging Poverty in Glasgow North event hosted by Queens Cross Housing Association on 23 November 2015.

The Poverty Alliance will celebrate the close of Challenge Poverty Week 2015 by hosting the 6th Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty at the Royal Concert Halls in Glasgow today (23 October).