Aquila Housing Association was established in 1984 by seven students in Newcastle who saw the issues of poverty, deprivation and homelessness around them and wanted to do something about it. They raised enough money to rent a house to accommodate young homeless people and employ a cleaner for a few hours a week. The organisation grew and developed expertise in working with young women and their children in close partnerships with the council, health care professionals and social services. They also set up a drop-in centre in central Gateshead providing emergency support to some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
For the vast majority of homeless people the only available accommodation is within the private rented sector and many lack the resources to pay a deposit or provide guarantees to a landlord. Due to their lack of funds, the properties available to them are often in a poor state of repair.
Without a stable home, parents lose their children, young people cannot take up training and it is difficult to secure a job. A home is one of the fundamental building blocks we all need to succeed.
In 2013 Oasis Aquila Housing set up a Social Lettings Agency to provide sustainable and affordable homes for local people. They purchased rundown properties in Gateshead and Newcastle, refurbished them and rented them out.
The Social Lettings Agency model can provide homeless people with the help they need to find appropriate accommodation managed by a landlord who will support them through the tougher times.
In 2014 Aquila joined forces with a national charity, Oasis Trust, and changed its name to Oasis Aquila Housing.
The Foundation's grant of £43,979 provided Oasis Aquila with the funds it needed to expand this provision by offering a management service to other landlords, thereby increasing the supply of affordable housing available to homeless people.
You can find out more about Oasis Aquila via their website.