London housing groups merge to form £6m body

LEXIE GODDARD

A London homelessness charity with 150 staff and a turnover of £6 million will be formed on 1 April by the merger of West Kensington-based charity Riverpoint and Housing Services Agency in Camden.

The new body, Broadway, plans to offer a range of services to approximately 2,500 homeless and vulnerable people, from street outreach to tenancy support schemes, with an aim to reduce homelessness in the capital.

It will be located in the offices of the Housing Services Agency, and has already secured the contract to provide support services for the CityWell housing project.

CityWell will comprise 400 self-contained flats with on-site support for former homeless people and low-paid "essential

workers such as nurses.

A location for the project is still being sought, but it is hoped that CityWell will provide health, leisure and employment opportunities for local people and tenants.

Riverpoint, which has been operating since 1977, provides shelter and support to 1,500 single homeless people each year. The charity also offers outreach, assessment and support for long-term rough sleepers, as part of the Government's Rough Sleepers Strategy.

Housing Services Agency specialises in the resettlement of homeless people by offering services directly to rough sleepers and to agencies working with them.

The agency provides flats and bedsits for 330 homeless people in 11 London boroughs.

Alan Cripps, interim chief executive at Broadway, commented on the merger.

"There is increasing pressure on the sector to improve efficiency. We can combine the force of two organisations with complementary services, such as street work and resettlement, which have worked in partnership for a number of years,

he said.

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