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Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald visiting one of North Star's supported housing schemes in Middlesbrough

Local MP, Andy McDonald highlights the great benefits of supported housing across the Tees Valley, by visiting one of North Star Housing Group’s supported housing schemes in Middlesbrough.

The visit coincides with a national campaign – Starts at Home, which aims to highlight the unique benefits of supported housing to show why it is so important to individuals and society. Over 400,000 people live in supported accommodation across the UK, including sheltered accommodation, refuges for women fleeing domestic violence, shelters and supported homes for those at risk of homelessness, and supported housing for vulnerable young people and adults with disabilities.

The funding system for supported housing is currently being reviewed by the Government, after which a new funding mechanism will be set up. The National Housing Federation and North Star are campaigning to secure a Government commitment that everyone can have a home that meets their unique needs.

For over 40 years, Stockton based housing association North Star has been providing housing and support solutions for vulnerable adults across the Tees Valley.

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said: “Supported housing is vital to providing independence, security, and dignity for millions of people across the country, and it’s not talked about enough. We hope this campaign will celebrate the good work done by so many in the supported housing sector, and show the Government why it’s such a crucial part of the housing fabric.”

Middlesbrough MP, Andy McDonald, said: “I am delighted to back North Star Housing and the National Housing Federation in their efforts to ensure that supported housing provision is funded appropriately. The work that housing providers do with some of the most vulnerable people in our society is absolutely essential and I cannot speak highly enough of those who work in the supported housing sector. As the MP for Middlesbrough I will do all I can to lobby on their behalf and make sure that the often complex needs of those who rely on supported sousing are met.”

Sara Herrington, Head of Customers at North Star, Said: “We’re delighted to welcome Andy to our supported housing scheme and to see first hand the huge difference places like this can make to people’s lives. Andy visited a scheme in Middlesbrough that provides accommodation for vulnerable adults. This includes people affected by domestic abuse, who are unable to live independently or  those at risk of homelessness. This service is a real lifeline for those that use it and we urge the Government to ensure services like this continue.”

Jodie, a North Star tenant, accessed North Star’s supported housing services after dramatic changes to her life meant she was homeless. North Star helped Jodie get back on track, giving her somewhere to live and the support she needed to rebuild her life. Jodie said: “Throughout life people can face major traumas and dramatic changes to their lives, and sometimes you’re going to need extra support to get back on track. When you’ve been in hospital, you’ve been ill or you’ve experienced a major trauma in your life, and your whole world is turned upside down, you need to go into a well-structured, well-balanced, supportive environment where you really trust the people that are looking after you.

“You don’t want to be looked after for the rest of your life, you want to get your independence back, but without projects like this it would be absolutely impossible for people to regain a level of independence and stability. For me, supported housing is fundamental for people’s recovery and I dread to think how my life would have turned out without it.”