Housing providers lead £1.8m drive to tackle entrenched rough sleeping in Greater Manchester

A partnership of Greater Manchester housing providers, charities and social investors have been selected to deliver a Government-funded programme worth up to £1.8m that will help around 200 rough sleepers in Greater Manchester start a new life off the streets.

The newly established Greater Manchester Homes Partnership will work with ‘entrenched rough sleepers’ – people who have regularly slept rough over the past two years and/or are well known to homelessness services – over a three-year period.

People who may have struggled with tenancies in the past will be given a second chance to have a home. Shelter, Great Places and The Brick will ensure individuals receive the right type of emotional and practical support to help them stay in their new homes and create a new life that works for them.

The consortium has been put together by One Manchester and Trafford Housing Trust, two Greater Manchester-based housing providers, and Bridges Fund Management, which manages funds on behalf of a range of impact-driven investors, including Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

This project will be the largest of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s ‘Entrenched Rough Sleeping’ SIBs. A three-year programme will now be delivered to tackle rough sleeping through the GM Homes Partnership, a newly established partnership dedicated to this challenge.

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. Thanks to this collaborative approach we have an opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives by providing the right kind of tailored support.”

Matthew Gardiner, Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust, said: “One person using a shop doorway for shelter is one too many.  For decades, we have failed to build enough homes.  We have also failed to understand the real needs of those who are trying to survive, from one day to the next, on the streets of our towns and cities.  We are determined to be there for the people who need us most, and in partnership with other housing associations and expert service providers we can provide a home and the support needed to change someone’s life for the better.”

John Ryan, who runs Shelter’s Manchester hub, said: “The Greater Manchester Homes Partnership is a great opportunity for us to work collaboratively with a range of partners to reach even more people across the city who urgently need our support. The partnership will help end the devastating scourge of street homelessness, which is one of the Mayor’s priorities, and we are delighted to be part of it.”

A total of 270 homes will be made available by 15 of Greater Manchester’s housing providers and two private rented sector partners.

Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive at Onward Homes, said: ‘We are proud to support this excellent initiative and look forward to working with the Greater Manchester Homes Partnership to help tackle homelessness across the region.’

Andrew Levitt, Partner and Head of Social Impact Bonds at Bridges, said: “Outcomes-based contracts are the best way to work with this very vulnerable group, because they give charities the freedom to take a very flexible approach – tailoring their support to the individual’s abilities and needs, as well as the changing dynamics of the local housing market. We’re passionate about this programme and the impact it can have in changing the lives of rough sleepers.”

The programme is part of a wider plan to tackle homelessness in the region, which Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has pledged to eradicate. For more information about this, visit:

https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/info/20000/housing_planning_and_homelessness.