GMCA submits integrated bid to tackle ‘disgraceful’ levels of homelessness
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is seeking further support in its plans to tackle homelessness by drawing from all areas of the government’s £40m homelessness schemes.
The combined authority was recently successful in its bid to become a ‘homelessness prevention trailblazer’ area, a DCLG scheme which allowed authorities to bid for a portion of a £20m funding pot designated for innovative programmes tackling the causes of homelessness.
GMCA is now pushing for a share of the government’s £10m rough sleepers fund and £10m of social outcomes funding for social impact bonds to realise its plans, which were developed with the support of all 10 authorities, the NHS, Greater Manchester Police, third party organisations and local partners.
Greater Manchester mayor Tony Lloyd said: “The levels of homelessness in our city-region are disgraceful. Homelessness is ruining the lives of far too many people in Greater Manchester; we can and will do more to help those who are living on our streets.
“We have the expertise to make a difference here in Greater Manchester but we need the resources to make our plans a reality.”
If successful, the GMCA aims to combine both funding streams with trailblazer programme funding to create an integrated approach to tackle homelessness in co-operation with its partners.
The GMCA’s bids would be used to develop emergency accommodation to support newcomers to rough sleeping back into settled housing, and provider longer-term support for specific entrenched rough sleepers. The final shape of the programmes will depend on the funding that the combined authority receives.
Cllr Richard Farnell, GMCA’s lead for planning and housing, said: “In Greater Manchester we are known for working together effectively. Now, we have the chance to tackle homelessness by working together across our ten local authorities, police, NHS, third sector organisations and other partners.
“But we also need the government to work with us and give us the funding to improve the lives of homeless people here in Greater Manchester.”
Rough sleeping is a growing problem in Britain with DCLG figures from earlier this year showing that there were 3,569 rough sleepers in autumn 2015 compared to 2,744 the previous year: a 30% year-on-year increase.
(Image c. Trowbridge Estate)
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