We’ve increased our budget aimed at reducing the number of people becoming homeless, and supporting those who are, to £13.375m for 2019/20. This is £4.6m more than we had planned. Extra money will meet rising need for temporary and emergency accommodation and support those who find themselves without a home.
Besides this spending on services, we’ve joined with social landlords to buy around 60 homes to rent to homeless families – the first families have moved in. And in north Manchester we’ve completed 40 affordable homes for social renting – the first Council-built homes in Manchester in over five years.
We’re making progress, with partners, finding accommodation and support for people living on the street, in spite of increasing numbers. This winter there was additional space for people sleeping rough as part of the “A bed every night” initiative which has accommodated 326 people. We continue looking for additional buildings with support from voluntary and faith groups, volunteers and social landlords.
A rough sleeping initiative bid has prevented 83 people from sleeping rough and met 295 requests for housing help including:
- Centrepoint homelessness prevention service for young people rough sleeping or at risk
- more workers in voluntary agencies resettling homeless people
- our outreach team for people who sleep rough has increased to eight staff
- extra bed spaces.
We’ve improved access to drug and alcohol services and increased funding for mental health outreach services.
234 people from Manchester with long-standing rough sleeping habits were supported by a new service started last year. And in spring 2019 a new Housing First scheme is focussing on getting in earlier to prevent families becoming homeless.
Our Private Renting Team made 251 direct offers of accommodation between April and November 2018 and our Longford Centre homelessness prevention centre helped 174 single people get their own private rented homes between April and December 2018.
We’re also using Discretionary Housing Payments and welfare support-related funds to support people. Four additional Housing Solutions staff now support people facing eviction. We’re also supporting Citizens Advice, Shelter and Cheetham Hill Advice Centre to prevent families and individuals becoming homeless.
We’ll continue our close working with the Homelessness Partnership so our policies and services are shaped by people with insight into homelessness, putting them at the heart of all we do.