A new initiative designed to tackle rising rates of rough sleeping in Salford, promises to provide city’s homeless with 19 temporary beds, which will facilitate nearly 7,000 extra nights shelter per year.
Salford City Council’s No Place Like Home commission will also provide Riverside Housing Group with a one year contract to to provide the beds, through a supported housing scheme based in Broughton.
The initiative is in part a response to a recent report from the homeless charity Shelter, which named Salford as the local authority with the second highest rate of homelessness in the North West.
The report claims that in December 2016, as the cold weather set in, there were a total of 325 people sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation in the city.
This follows on from government statistics released in 2015 which showed that rough sleeping has risen by 14% in Salford, 63% in Manchester and 30% nationally.
Shelter Manchester Hub manager John Ryan said: “This problem is decades in the making, this is the tragic result of a nation struggling under the weight of sky-high rents, a lack of affordable homes, and cuts to welfare support.
“We are pleased to see that the council has finally begun to respond to this urgent rallying call with the same combination of anger and compassion that supports our work.”
The initiative, which is set to begin at the end of April, will aim to reduce the number of single homeless people who are currently being housed in expensive bed and breakfast accommodation – reducing the cost to the council by £143,000.
Councillor Paul Longshaw said: “Everyone in Salford is trying to help homeless people and doing some fantastic work but it’s like pushing a boulder uphill.
“This is a national crisis, which is getting worse and worse with a shortage of affordable homes and a system that is failing people leaving them sleeping rough.
“Salford City Council continues to work on bringing empty and unused homes and land back into use and we’re committed to building genuinely affordable housing in the city. We can and will keep on pushing to solve this housing and homelessness problem.”