The Guardian newspaper released an article in conjunction with Homeless Link this week, outlining the risk of a surge in rough sleeping as services are pushed beyond their capacity to pay for soaring energy costs.
Nomad has not escaped this fate as we struggle to cope with our own rising rates and a lack of support from the Government. This winter has proven especially difficult with some severe cold snaps, it is not a surprise everyone wants to have their heating on. But Nomad has seen our accommodation gas bill rise from £1,300 to £3,500 a month. This is an increase of 170% in just a few short months.
This is not a cost which can be passed along to our tenants, they are vulnerable adults claiming Universal Credit. So far, there has been no lift in these benefits to support those with the lowest income in our society. Our only choice is to pay the difference and absorb the additional fees in the energy bills. This is a cost which we, as a small charity, are struggling to afford. This story is being repeated up and down the county, with local service providers crying out for support and receiving nothing.
What will happen when energy prices go up again? Or we cannot raise the money to continue covering this cost? We will be forced to hand back the properties we manage and risk those vulnerable tenants facing eviction and rough sleeping.
Our Chief Executive, Steve Rundell said: “It’s an extremely worrying and depressing scenario. Nomad, as members of Homeless Link, fully supports their national campaign to persuade government to continue to financially support the utility bills of charities past March 2023, but up to now we have little confidence that the government is really listening.”
We are all under pressure this winter, but if you can spare £10 to help us keep vulnerable adults safe and warm, please consider donating to Nomad Opening Doors.