Bold plan to give lifeline to the homeless

Mr Burnham has made tackling rough sleeping a cornerstone of his mayoralty. He is seen here at The Brick in Wigan
Mr Burnham has made tackling rough sleeping a cornerstone of his mayoralty. He is seen here at The Brick in Wigan

A new scheme to address homelessness in Wigan and the rest of Greater Manchester will see 270 homes made available to rough sleepers.


The £1.8m project, announced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will work with rough sleepers over a three-year period.

Those who have regularly slept rough over the past two years or are well known to homelessness services will be given intensive support to maintain a tenancy in one of the 270 homes made available by 15 housing providers and two private rented sector partners.

As part of the announcement, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also said emergency measures to help the homeless would come into place as soon as the temperature dropped below zero, instead of the current requirement of emergency support after three nights of sub-zero temperatures.

Mr Burnham said: “These measures are ground-breaking and genuinely innovative. It shows that Greater Manchester is leading the way when it comes to helping those in the direst of need.”

John Ryan, who runs Shelter’s Manchester hub, said: “As another cold winter bites and the number of people sleeping on our streets continues to grow, we are delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership to tackle the issue. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to work collaboratively with others, to reach hundreds of people who are struggling, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The newly-established Greater Manchester Homes Partnership, made up of a consortium put together by housing providers One Manchester and Trafford Housing Trust and Bridges Fund Management, will work with rough sleepers, who will be given emotional and practical support to access health, training and employment services.