03:00PM, Saturday 17 September 2016
The man in charge of the Windsor Homeless Project is urging the borough to reverse its decision to relocate its Housing Options team from Windsor to Maidenhead.
Murphy James, the project’s manager, has launched a petition which says that moving the service from York House in Sheet Street to Maidenhead Town Hall will ‘leave Windsor’s vulnerable open to becoming even more so’.
Housing Options provides a telephone and face-to-face service in Sheet Street which aims to stop people becoming homeless.
It gives people advice on how to cope if they fall behind with mortgage repayments and help people who are in desperate need of housing with a connection to the borough.
Murphy said: “Housing Options was the only service that vulnerable people in Windsor had.
“Travelling to Maidenhead is going to use up any bit of money these people have.”
The borough’s cabinet member for adult services and health, Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray), told the Express that the move would only see the service’s telephone staff moved to Maidenhead.
He said: “It was inefficient to have a small number of staff in Windsor so we decided they would be better integrated with the customer service team at Maidenhead Town Hall.
“We are maintaining a face-to-face service for urgent issues at York House.
“The last thing I want is to disenfranchise the people of Windsor.”
But Murphy, 33, said leaving just one person available as part of the face-to-face service at York House would not be enough.
He added that vulnerable people in Windsor needed to be able to speak to a number of people from the Housing Options team in person whenever they needed to.
“We all make telephone calls and have to sit there waiting for someone to pick up,” he added.
“It should be about visiting people face-to-face so people can have their needs assessed directly.”
The deadline for the petition is Monday. Visit http://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/Stopthemadness to sign.
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