Andy Burnham has joined forces with fellow Metro Mayors to help end rough sleeping by calling for an extension of the Housing First scheme.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, alongside Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram and West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street, say they all share the same ambition to end rough sleeping and believe the local Housing First pilots have been making a significant contribution.
Housing First is a system that prioritises access to stable accommodation over the requirement for an individual to address any other support needs they have.
Figures provided by the Mayors show that 96% of those who benefited from the scheme had come straight off the streets, and 25% were before they were 18 years old.
The three pilot schemes have worked with 1,245 individuals – 812 of which have been housed in secure tenancies (with an 87% tenancy sustainment rate).
The three mayors are now calling on the government to extend funding for these pilots and ensure that people on the programmes are supported and don’t risk returning to rough sleeping.
It’s believed that there are an estimated 1,018 people across the pilot programmes who will need support when the funding ends.
Calling on the government to extend the pilot scheme, Andy Burnham said: “When I first took office, Greater Manchester was struggling to cope with a growing homelessness crisis [but] since then, a range of local policies I’ve introduced, and national policies have helped turn this around – and Housing First is one of them.
“The success of our pilots speaks for themselves and that’s why I want the government to extend funding for the existing programmes and then provide sustainable funding to roll it out as a national policy as we work together to achieve our ambition to end rough sleeping.”
Steve Rotherham, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, added: “There has been an alarming rise in homelessness over the past decade, as austerity stripped away many of the safety nets that some relied on.
“Through these Housing First pilots, we have collectively shown that there is a better, more humane way of treating people.”
Alongside the Metro Mayors’ calls ahead of a stakeholder event being held today with more than 200 delegates from across the pilot areas and Housing and Rough Sleeping Minister, Eddie Hughes MP, a meeting of the cross-party All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing First last week also backed calls for an extension of the pilots.
As well as providing a home, Housing First supports individuals with health issues and disabilities.
Featured Image – CentrePoint