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Published : 05/12/2012 00:00

Funding spreads warmth in Leeds

Thousands are set to benefit from energy efficient home improvements and advice while extra accommodation for homeless people will keep residents warm and well this winter.

A successful bid by a number of Leeds organisations to the government’s Warm Homes Healthy People fund means more people will be able to heat their homes efficiently.

People sleeping rough will also be able to stay in a new overnight accommodation hub throughout the colder months.

The £199,067 from the Warm Homes Healthy People fund will be added to the £171,000 already set aside by NHS Leeds to help people susceptible to the cold. The combined funding pot will be used to provide an all-round winter service for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

The Citizens Advice Bureaux in Leeds are offering guidance on managing fuel debts, maximising income and the best ways to pay for energy.

As well as helping keep tenants warm and save money with free energy saving measures and gadgets, Leeds Federated Housing are also providing practical advice on how to make their tenant’s homes cheaper to heat.  Around 240 tenants will be able to benefit from advice or the installation of measures. Tenants are also being offered advice to ensure they are in receipt of the correct benefits.

St Georges Crypt have set up an overnight emergency shelter to accommodate up to 21 homeless people.  People will be allowed to stay at the shelter for up to 72 hours until a longer term housing solution can be secured.

Funding already announced from NHS Leeds is set to help vulnerable Leeds residents. Emergency repairs and temporary heating from Care and Repair will help around 300 households. Energy efficiency advice and home improvements like draught-proofing, free reflective radiator panels and pipe insulation by Groundwork Leeds’ Green Doctor will help another 490 households. Grants of up to £5,000 from Leeds Community Foundation will allow local groups to support people in their own communities with advice, cold weather assistance and emergency boxes.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said:

“The priority for schemes like this is to assist people who are most in need, helping them to save money and keep warm and healthy while at the same cutting carbon emissions. Our long term goal is to lift people out of fuel poverty and this will only be possible by working in partnership so I’m delighted to see the co-ordinated efforts of organisations across the city.”

Ian Cameron, executive director of public health at NHS Leeds, said:

“NHS Leeds is delighted to work with Leeds City Council and other key partners to deliver practical help and assistance, enabling vulnerable people to stay warm and healthy this winter.”

Nick Morgan, Chapeltown Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive, said:

“More and more people are coming to us for advice on how to spend less on their fuel bills, manage their fuel debt, and maximise their income.  While we continue to help people on a daily basis with face to face, telephone and online advice – there is a real need to reach out to more people who are struggling and the Warm Homes Healthy People fund will be a chance for us to do just that.”

David Malsom, Leeds Federated Housing’s energy and sustainability manager, said:

"We're delighted to be included in this project.  Leeds Fed is working hard to help its tenants make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat. This funding will allow us to assist more householders this winter and to protect tenants against long-term energy price rises.”

ENDS

Notes:

  • Advice from Citizens Advice Bureau is available by calling 0844 477 4788.
  • Leeds Federated Housing tenants can contact 0113 386 1000 for advice and support.
  • For emergency heating repairs through Care and Repair’s Warm Home service call 0113 200 9165.
  • For free energy efficient home improvements and energy efficiency advice contact Groundwork Leeds’ Green Doctor service on 0113 238 0601.
  • Leeds Community Foundation can be contacted on 0113 242 2426 to discuss grants for communities or information can be found at www.leedscf.org.uk

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk