William to visit Sheffield to join locals in discussions to end homelessness

Earthshot Prize Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Prince of Wales’s ambitious project to help end homelessness has been given a boost worth £1 million from a DIY retailer.

William will visit Sheffield, one of six locations for his Homewards initiative, to join families who have experienced homelessness, community representatives and grassroots organisations taking part in a workshop to help design the city’s new housing project.

The future king will unveil Homebase’s pledge of £1 million of support in the form of up to 1,500 home starter packs, which could include paint, furniture, flooring and furnishings to help tenants turn a property into a home.

The packs from the retailer, an official Homewards supporter, will be provided to the housing projects created in Homewards’ six flagship areas launched by William last year, and a further Duchy of Cornwall development.

The event will be staged at a community space called The Learning Zone in north-east Sheffield and attended by Damian McGloughlin, Homebase’s chief executive officer.

He said: “At Homebase, we know how important it is to have a place to call home, and we’re committed to co-producing home starter packs with the people who will be using them.

“Over the next five years, we’ll help end the cycle of homelessness by supporting a fresh start with a fresh lick of paint, and all their home needs.”

William will also sit down with local landlords to discuss their support for ending homelessness among families – a growing issue in the city – and hear about the housing commitments they are making to support the programme.

A group of landlords including Keystone Property Group, Places for People, Letzmove, My Landlord Cares and Arches Housing has pledged more than 30 three and four-bedroom properties for families on the brink of losing their homes.

Homewards wants to focus on unlocking more affordable, long-term family homes from across the rented sector in Sheffield to help families who may be struggling to find a permanent place to live.

Each Homewards location will deliver its own housing project over five years, designed to meet local needs to tackle homelessness and test new ways to unlock homes at scale, both within their area and beyond.

The six areas are Newport, South Wales, three neighbouring Dorset towns – Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, the south London Borough of Lambeth, Belfast, Aberdeen and Sheffield.

Later in the day William will visit the city centre for a meeting of the Homewards Sheffield Local Coalition, which over the past nine months has been working to create an action plan to tackle the housing issues facing the city.

The group will discuss the project’s impact and its next steps forward.

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