Greater Manchester is set to receive a cut of a £20 million fund to buy and refurbish properties for families and individuals at risk of homelessness in the region.
The £20m National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2) – which was announced by social investment firm Resonance – aims to tackle the “alarming” numbers of people living in temporary or inappropriate accommodation in the North West, and will see houses, flats and apartments purchased through the the fund and leased to housing associations and homelessness charities.
Greater Manchester will get £5m to buy and renovate 50 one and two-bedroom houses, with additional scope to secure another 100 properties in the city-region and surrounding areas.
It’s believed that more than 80,000 people are currently on social housing waiting lists across Greater Manchester.
The initial investment will aim to provide housing for more than 250 people currently living in temporary accommodation, B&Bs or sleeping rough, but the fund will eventually aim to raise up to £100m to support hundreds more in need.
Housing providers will also work with charities to help individuals and families find employment or education, and save for a deposit to move into the private rented sector with a track record of maintaining a tenancy.
This is the second iteration of the National Homelessness Property Fund (NHPF).
The NHPF is the brainchild Resonance and ethical lettings agency Let Us – which is formed of five housing providers including Bolton At Home, ForHousing, Salix Homes, Stockport Homes Group and Wigan Council – and is funded by each of the Greater Manchester councils through the combined authority, along with the regional pension fund and social impact investors Big Society Capital.
The first iteration of the fund – which ran from 2015 to 2018 – raised £30m to buy 229 properties for 587 people.
Speaking on the fund, Simon Chisholm – Chief Investment Officer at Resonance – said: “With homelessness on the rise, the need for safe, decent and affordable housing is significant. Building on the success of our previous property funds, we are proud to launch the NHPF2, which will initially focus on purchasing affordable homes across the North West.
“This will enable the fund to make a real difference to hundreds of people’s lives across the region.”
Paul Dennett – Mayor of Salford and the city-region’s lead on homelessness – has welcomed the fund as a “timely initiative”.
He added: “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated an already alarming crisis of housing and homelessness in this country, and its impact will be felt for many months to come. We face a dangerous winter that threatens to push many more people into hardship, and we should be doing all that we can to prevent further housing insecurity.
“We want high quality, truly affordable homes to be available to everyone across Greater Manchester,
“And the follow-on fund announced today by Resonance is a positive contribution to that goal and towards tackling the housing and homelessness crisis within Greater Manchester.”
You can find more information on the National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2)here.
A former beauty queen, 25, has died suddenly after collapsing at stables owned by Michael Owen
A former beauty queen has died at just 25 years old, after she collapsed at the stables owned by Michael Owen.
Jessica Whalley worked at Manor House Stables and had previously taken part in the Miss Tourism Universe pageant.
Emergency services were called to the equestrian facility in Malpas, Cheshire, on Tuesday morning to reports that the young woman had collapsed.
Tragically, paramedics were unable to revive Jessica, and she died at the scene.
Keir Starmer says Labour will ‘freeze’ council tax this year if elected
Keir Starmer has said he will “freeze” council tax in England this year if Labour triumphs in the upcoming local elections.
The Labour leader says his party will cut tax “for the many, not just for the top 1%.”
With the next local elections coming up on 4 May 2023, and Labour hoping to gain in its number of seats across England and Wales, Sir Keir Starmer appeared in Swindon today to launch his party’s election campaign, and hit out at the Conservative Party for being “nowhere near good enough” over their last 13 years of power.
Starmer notably blasted the Tories for their decision to raise tax-free pension limits in its most recent Budget announcement – which is set to benefit the most well-off in our society – and said Labour would counteract this and represent working people.
It comes after almost three in four local Councils say they are planning to increase the cost by the maximum amount allowed after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised the cap on council tax increases without a referendum from 3% to 5%.
Council leaders claim they have “little choice” but to increase costs as the rising cost of living crisis sadly continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s campaign today, Starmer stated “there is a choice on tax” for the public to make in the upcoming local elections.
He added: “A Tory choice – taxes up for working people, tax cuts for the 1% – or a Labour choice, where we cut business rates to save our high streets and where, if there was a Labour government, you could take that council tax rise you just got and rip it up.
“A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year – that’s our choice. A tax cut for the many, not just for the top 1%. So take this message to every doorstep in your community: Labour is the party of lower taxes for working people.
“That’s the difference we can make. That’s the choice in May. A better Britain.”
Starmer said he intends for the pledges he made in Labour’s local election campaign launch to “send a message to the government” after their 13 years in power.
“What they’ve delivered to our country nowhere near good enough,” he said
“We’ve got to get out there and show people the difference Labour can make. Let them see our hunger for change. We have to prove that this suffocating cost of living crisis, the path of decline the Tories have set Britain on, the endless sticking plaster politics, is not inevitable.