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Charity is set to fold; CRISIS: Funding runs out for supporters of homeless.

Byline: By Mail Reporter

A BIRMINGHAM charity which has spent more than ten years helping homeless people across the country has today revealed it can no longer survive and will be forced to close in less than two months.

Staff at the National Rent Deposit Forum (NRDF), in Blucher Street, city centre, have been forced to bring an end to services after failing to secure further funding.

Set up in 1995, the NRDF has built up a strong nationwide network of more than 250 members and remains to date the only organisation that puts homeless people in private rented accomodation, giving them on-going support.

Over the last ten years the NRDF has advised thousands of clients, supported hundreds of successful schemes, provided tailored training to housing workers and campaigned on housing issues on behalf of members.

Putting the homeless in privately rented homes is called a rent deposit scheme and the charity acts as an intermediary between tenant and landlord, offering a legal guarantee, or cash, to pay for rent in advance, rent arrears, theft or damage during a tenancy.

The NRDF estimates that its members house 14,000 people a year, using some 8,500 landlords.

Charity chiefs are blaming the current cash crisis on an increase in demand from local authorities who are looking to put homeless people in private rented accommodation.

But they say the Government has failed to give the charity the funds it needs.

Karen Dick, chairwoman of the NRDF National Executive Committee, said: "We are bitterly disappointed that an organisation that has driven up standards, influenced policy and legislation and offered a quality service of support to rent deposit schemes is having to close."

But the campaign for funding continues and supporters can log on to www.nrdf.org.uk or e-mail their comments to infonrdf.org.uk

CAPTION(S):

LOSING OUT... a homeless charity is poised to close in April.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 9, 2006
Words:317
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