Sustainable Housing Action Partnership (SHAP) has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to help tackle fuel poverty in the West Midlands.
10% of the population in the West Midlands, more than 280,000 households, live in fuel poverty, meaning that they do not have enough money to pay for heating or even to cook the meals they need to remain healthy.
COVID-19 has hit those in poorer communities the hardest, meaning that over the next year these numbers are expected to rise.
To help combat this, SHAP has launched a crowdfunding campaign which will enable it to continue to carry out vital research with stakeholder partners to help change the way local authorities support those suffering from fuel poverty.
The funds will be used to work with organisations from the health, social care, construction and social housing sectors to develop a detailed roadmap which can be used by local authorities across the West Midlands.
These councils will use the roadmap to invest in programmes to improve local housing stock and focus on health, wellbeing, social care and job opportunities for residents currently living in fuel poverty.
The roadmap will show clear, practical steps each council can take to put the proposals into practice and can be used as a template for other local authorities across England.
SHAP co-ordinator Rosemary Coyne explained: ‘Fuel poverty blights lives and communities, pulls the economy down and contributes to continuing cycles of poverty and health inequalities.
‘We want to show that this plan is ready for adoption and implementation by local authorities and will contribute significantly to alleviating fuel poverty.
‘There is a clear link between child hunger and fuel poverty. If you can’t afford to pay your electricity or gas bills, then it’s obvious you can’t afford to cook meals. That’s an appalling state of affairs.
‘Having managed to get child hunger onto the national agenda, the next step is to help hundreds of thousands of people out of fuel poverty.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay