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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Greater Manchester's homeless to be helped with 270 homes for rough sleepers

Written by Eleanor Barlow

A new scheme to address homelessness in Greater Manchester will see 270 homes made available to rough sleepers, it has been announced.

The £1.8 million project, announced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), will work with rough sleepers over a three-year period.

Those who have regularly slept rough over the past two years or are well known to homelessness services will be given intensive support to maintain a tenancy in one of the 270 homes made available by 15 housing providers and two private rented sector partners.

As part of the announcement on Tuesday, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham also said emergency measures to help the homeless would come into place as soon as the temperature dropped below zero, instead of the current requirement of emergency support after three nights of sub-zero temperatures.

Mr Burnham said: "These measures are ground-breaking and genuinely innovative. It shows that Greater Manchester is leading the way when it comes to helping those in the direst of need."

John Ryan, who runs Shelter's Manchester hub, said: "As another cold winter bites and the number of people sleeping on our streets continues to grow, we are delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership to tackle the issue.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us to work collaboratively with others, to reach hundreds of people who are struggling across the city, and we can't wait to get started."

The newly-established Greater Manchester Homes Partnership, made up of a consortium put together by housing providers One Manchester and Trafford Housing Trust and Bridges Fund Management, will work with rough sleepers, who will be given emotional and practical support to access health, training and employment services.

The project is the largest, outside London, of the Department for Communities and Local Government's Entrenched Rough Sleeping social impact bonds, which see investors paid a dividend for successful projects.

Dave Power, group chief executive of One Manchester, said: "I know I'm not alone in being shocked to see the numbers of people sleeping rough rising in Manchester so we absolutely must pull together to address this.

"Our ultimate aim is to ensure that people who have found themselves back on the street time and again have the chance to start a new life in the right kind of home with the right support.

"This funding enables us to do this by responding to the individual circumstances which lead people to a life of sleeping rough. This is a hugely important initiative and we are ready to take action, now."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Yui Mok / PA Wire.