GM Housing Providers report regularly on their attempts to tackle poverty (GM Housing Providers Spring 2019 Anti-Poverty Newsletter), and this month their pledges have been revamped to include many specific commitments to make the Food Poverty Action Plan a reality. These include:
Action to reduce the “poverty premium”. We have pledged to work in partnership locally to identify the best deals for our customers on services such as access to technology, broadband and essentials such as white goods, furniture and clothing and to actively market these lower cost options.
Increase fuel vouchers provision and affordable white goods to ensure people have the fuel and equipment needed to cook meals. We have pledged to promote initiatives designed to reduce energy bills and to improve access to financial advice and services for existing and prospective tenants
Establish more food clubs/food pantries, especially in areas that lack affordable healthy food. Housing providers already work with and support many of the Pantry type projects in GM and we have pledged to support the expansion of models that divert food waste. We will also coordinate an effort which will support the expansion of bulk buy food and support further coordination of food banks and the development of food co-ops.
Open up unused land for food to be grown for community use and help to grow food for community use. We have pledged to increase initiatives to grow and access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.
Show leadership in tackling low pay, insecure work, and unemployment – become accredited Real Living Wage employers – We have pledged to do this with over half of GM housing providers now accredited.
Develop and implement local procurement policies to source supplies locally, including but not limited to food. We have pledged to adopt a consistent approach to maximising the value of our procurement and supply chain by adopting and implementing the principles in the GMCA Social Value Policy.
All Local Authorities and Housing Associations should pledge to invest in new social housing. We have pledged to work collaboratively on development sites and schemes to maximise impact and reduce costs and continue to prioritise the delivery of low cost rented housing.