Burnham continues homelessness push

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has announced a new wave of radical proposals to address homelessness and save lives as winter draws in.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Manchester’s 10 councils, alongside business and public services, have created the £1.8 million scheme to provide hundreds of rough sleepers the chance to start a new life off the streets.

The Greater Manchester Homes Partnership will work with ‘entrenched rough sleepers’ over a three-year period – those who have regularly slept rough over the past two years and are well known to homelessness services. They will be given support to sustain a tenancy in one of 270 homes to be made available by 15 of Greater Manchester’s housing providers and two private rented sector partners.

Believed to be a UK first, the scheme sees Greater Manchester become the first major metropolitan area in the country where emergency help will be available to rough sleepers as soon as the temperature drops below zero.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “As winter draws in, it is vital that the right support is there for people who are sleeping on our streets. 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.

“This also shows the power of partnership as none of this would be possible without the leadership which has been shown by our 10 local councils, other public bodies, housing providers and both the private and voluntary sectors. These measures will save lives this winter, and are an important step towards ending rough sleeping in Greater Manchester for good. In terms of the cold weather policy which has been agreed across Greater Manchester, I would call on other city-regions to follow suit and follow the great example set here.”

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