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Award for homeless charity

PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 March 2010

ADVICE for homeless people has won Coastal Homeless Action Group, a Quality Mark.

The Reverend Christopher Leffler, chairman of CHAG which works in the Suffolk Coastal District, said: "This award is proof that CHAG has grown from a small parochial organisation into a medium sized professional charity – we can no longer be accused of being amateurs.

ADVICE for homeless people has won Coastal Homeless Action Group, a Quality Mark.

The Reverend Christopher Leffler, chairman of CHAG which works in the Suffolk Coastal District, said: "This award is proof that CHAG has grown from a small parochial organisation into a medium sized professional charity – we can no longer be accused of being amateurs."

CHAG received 562 new requests for help last year, directly housed 186 people and is currently supporting 66 people to stay in their homes.

Jim Overbury, director of CHAG, in his speech to the Annual General Meeting next Wednesday in Woodbridge, will report that while 2001-2002 has been a very good year for CHAG, it remained miserable for those people who cannot find anywhere to live in the district.

He said: "We see many people in an impossible situation, they have low wages and cannot afford the high rents or house prices in the district. I was told the other day by a part time nurse that she felt like a native American Indian, trying to find a place on a reservation whilst hoards of rich settlers were crowding her out. I have thought about this analogy and in a sense she is right. There are only a few, shrinking pockets of low cost social housing and cheap places to rent in the private sector have all but vanished.

"Unless there is more housing for people on a local wage, the people who have bought the houses that are beyond the reach of locals – or who are prepared to pay an inflated rent whilst they find their new house – will not be able to find a plumber, or gardener or childminder, or for that matter nurse!"

CHAG acts as a pressure group as well as directly helping homeless people and is calling for the Government to ensure that a percentage of all new house building development for sale is kept for affordable rents.

It also wants much more investment in the social housing sector so they can provide low cost homes for local people.


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