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Cash hope for troubled homeless support network
A SUPPORT network for people facing homelessness in Ryedale could receive a cash lifeline to prevent it folding.
Ryedale District Council has been warned the district’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will be insolvent by next March unless extra money is provided from the authority, and its demise would create a demand for help which the council would be unable to meet.
The CAB is facing a cash shortfall for the years ahead, and the council’s commissioning board will next week be asked to agree continuing annual funding of £27,400 for two more years. A report by Gary Housden, the authority’s head of planning and housing, said this would allow the organisation time to find alternative funding and look at other options for the future, which could include merging with other CABs in North Yorkshire.
The Ryedale CAB’s budget for 2013/14 shows likely expenditure of £167,049 but only £133,488 of income. Mr Housden’s report said: “If the council does not provide this additional funding, the CAB will be insolvent by March 2014.
“The cost of re-establishing this service at a later date would then be far greater. The loss of the services provided by CAB would be likely to result in increased homeless presentations to the council, which would have a significant effect on the council’s budgets. The housing services team at the council is not resourced to deliver these services and would not be able to meet the increase in demand for specialist services.”
Mr Housden said Ryedale CAB’s services were “fundamental” to preventing homelessness in the district. As well as providing the funding, the commissioning board will be asked to approve a new funding agreement between the council and the CAB, including cash contributions to areas such as financial and benefits advice, charity work and recruiting volunteers.
The CAB’s chief officer will have to report back to the council in a year’s time to outline the organisation’s future plans and the progress it has made towards becoming “sustainable from 2015 onwards”, and the authority will be able to “claw back” any surplus money.