Manchester City Council is undertaking a major renovation project to improve its stock of shared housing for people who are homeless.
More than £2m is being invested from the Housing Revenue Fund into the refurbishment of 14 shared houses which accommodate single homeless people in Manchester.
The 14 houses are a combination of purpose built properties and older buildings which form part of the Council’s accommodation offer to provide temporary homes for single homeless people in need.
Situated across Manchester, each house accommodates up to 15 residents, with space for up to 160 single homeless people in supported temporary accommodation. Each house has a full-time member of staff who is available during the day to provide support and advice to tenants who are learning the skills to help them get ready to move on to live independently with a tenancy of their own.
Four of the houses are specifically targeted at young people aged 16 -25.
Most of the shared housing properties were built in the mid-80s and are in need of a complete revamp. The renovation work includes fitting new windows, kitchens and bathrooms, complete rewiring as well as a refresh of bedrooms and communal living areas to bring them up to modern living standards.
The work will be carried out over a year and residents will be rehoused for up to six weeks while the refurbishment of properties takes place.
In addition, work is also underway to make a number of properties wheelchair accessible to help ease the growing need for accessible housing.
The council is currently working with partners, Sanctuary Housing who own and run Victoria House as homeless temporary accommodation, as well as the Salvation Army, to adapt properties for disabled access. Funded through the council’s Disabled Facilities Grant this will ensure that people with mobility issues who are homeless are able to access suitable accommodation.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Our investment in these properties shows our commitment to provide support services for people who are in need of help. These shared houses have been in use for more than 30 years and needed a complete overhaul to modernise them and bring them up to a high standard. It’s a big project and will take time but it will be worth it to ensure that they are up to date and fit for purpose as the demand is increasing all the time. We need good accommodation with support and advice on hand to help people get back on track no matter what their circumstances.”
Northwards Housing are coordinating the shared housing refurbishment programme and Mears are carrying out the work. Work on all the shared housing properties is due to be completed by spring 2020.