Greater Manchester sees 37% fall in number of rough sleepers

The number of people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester has fallen from 241 in November 2018 to 151, according to figures released by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

The figures were published following the rough sleeper count that took place in November 2019 and showed that, of the regions ten boroughs, six saw a reduction, while Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport saw increases of between one and five people.

The Mayor said his A Bed Every Night scheme, launched in November 2018 to support the region’s rough sleepers, was having an impact, as were the Housing First pilot and the government’s Rough Sleeper Initiative. He also cautioned that what people see during the daytime, particularly in the city centre of Manchester, does not reflect the true situation on the streets in the early hours of the morning. He said:

‘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. 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. 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. A policy of ending rough sleeping by 2027 is simply not good enough. People are dying on British streets now for want of a home and Greater Manchester is proving that, with urgent action, lives can be saved this winter.’

Cllr Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: ‘Tackling the rough sleeping crisis has been one of the most challenging issues faced by Manchester City Council in recent times. While it is positive to see a decline in the number of people sleeping rough, we cannot be complacent and must continue to affect real change in our City.

‘We have, through the Manchester Homelessness Partnership, forged valuable links with organisations, charities and volunteer groups who all work towards the goal of ending rough sleeping. Any success is to be shared with them and reflects the priority given to this issue and the scale of resources which we have invested in this area.

‘This is a snapshot of the homelessness situation in Manchester, and there is still work to be done in the coming years. We now need to repeat our calls to Central Government to treat homelessness seriously.’

Photo Credit – GMCA

Laura O'Neill


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