Ipswich Housing Action Group Ltd (IHAG) is a small, independent, local Charity with a voluntary management committee (Trustees), 43 paid staff, about 15 volunteers and an annual turnover of about £1.25 million.
IHAG started life in 1976 in response to concern about the lack of accommodation for single people in Ipswich. Today IHAG operates a dispersed hostel of 14 houses, runs the Chapman Centre – a hub for homelessness services in Ipswich – and has a busy Money Advice Service which helps hundreds of individuals each year deal with their debt, budgets and welfare benefits.
Of all the different groups of homeless people, single people do not have a right to be housed by any statutory agency unless they are deemed to be vulnerable under housing legislation. This means that the vast majority of single homeless people do not easily get access to housing. IHAG contributes significantly to the lives of these marginalised homeless people by providing a range of professional support services. These can act as a stepping stone from homelessness and social exclusion to permanent accommodation, independence and social inclusion.
IHAG is financed by its charges to tenants, Housing Related Support funding (via Suffolk County Council), Ipswich Borough Council (IBC), the Money Advice Service Debt Advice Project, and a number of Trusts and Grant Giving Bodies like the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, the Tudor Trust, The Mrs LD Rope Third Charitable Settlement, as well as various donations from individuals and organisations. They also rely on a network of supporters and friends who provide expertise, support and information – often at a reduced or nil cost.
Campaigning – a voice for single homeless people
IHAG has a strong commitment to campaigning on behalf of all single homeless people, for their rights to be housed, their rights to be heard and their rights to have their needs taken into account when housing policies and strategies are being drawn up.
They always strive not to set themselves in opposition to the needs of other groups and thus support improvements in the provision and management of housing generally.
IHAG has useful relationships with national campaigning organisations like Homeless Link, SITRA, Shelter, and Crisis, as well as an extensive network of contacts with, amongst others, IBC, Suffolk Social Services, the Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust, and the Furniture Project. IHAG is a founder, and active, member of the Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership which is based upstairs at the Chapman Centre.
Where is Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG)