40 per cent fall in peo­ple sleep­ing rough, re­veals mayor

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of rough-sleep­ers across Greater Manch­ester has fallen by al­most 40 per cent in the last year, mayor Andy Burn­ham has re­vealed.

Fig­ures show the amount of peo­ple sleep­ing on the streets across the re­gion has dropped from 241 in Novem­ber 2018 to 151.

Manch­ester city saw a drop of 26pc, while in Traf­ford, there is now only one per­son recorded as sleep­ing rough.

The mayor says what peo­ple see in Manch­ester dur­ing the day, no longer re­flects he sit­u­a­tion in the early hours of the morn­ing.

This is due to his Bed Ev­ery Night Scheme, which has also helped nearly 3,000 peo­ple move into se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion since its launch in 2018.

In the last month, 502 peo­ple have been of­fered a bed via the scheme, which Mr Burn­ham wants to see rolled out na­tion­ally.

Fig­ures show rough-sleep­ing in Eng­land in­creased by 269pc be­tween 2010 and 2017, be­fore fall­ing by 1.5pc in 2018.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers were urged to pri­ori­tise the ‘home­less­ness cri­sis’ in last week’s elec­tion, af­ter 726 peo­ple died in Eng­land and Wales last year.

Mr Burn­ham has made a re­peated call on Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son to take ac­tion to end the cri­sis of peo­ple sleep­ing rough na­tion­ally.

“We still have much fur­ther to go on our mis­sion to end the sit­u­a­tion of peo­ple sleep­ing rough in Greater Manch­ester but this is real progress,” Mr Burn­ham said.

“It has been achieved by the hard work of hun­dreds of car­ing peo­ple in our coun­cils, char­i­ties and faith com­mu­ni­ties and the gen­eros­ity of the Greater Manch­ester pub­lic. It shows the power of this place when we work as one. But we now need much more help from the gov­ern­ment.”

The Greater Manch­ester mayor is ask­ing Mr John­son to re­lease the ex­tra £54m for rough-sleep­ing promised in the last par­lia­ment to towns and cities. He is also call­ing for the prime min­is­ter to end the freeze on the Lo­cal Hous­ing Al­lowance with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, end­ing no-fault evic­tions and abol­ish the no re­course to pub­lic funds pol­icy.

“We need an end to poli­cies which are forc­ing peo­ple onto the streets

– such as the freeze on lo­cal hous­ing al­lowance – and more sup­port to ex­tend schemes like A Bed

Ev­ery Night right across the coun­try,”

Mr Burn­ham added.

Mayor Andy Burn­ham

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