The Salford City Mayor is calling for action from the Government as he declares a “rapidly escalating” homeless crisis in Salford.

The Mayor, Paul Dennett claims in a statement that the council are not going to be “able to keep people off the streets” if there isn’t an immediate offer of resources and a change in what he argues are “conflicting policies” of government departments.

Image of Salford and Manchester taken/ owned by M J Richardson, Wikimedia.

Mayor Paul stated: “We’re asking the government to take urgent steps to stabilise the fractured housing market and build long strategic term solutions to homelessness.

“We urge government to immediately increase the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to 30th percentile of local market rents and commit to increase LHA rates annually to reflect actual rental prices.

“We ask for urgent localised financial support to address the short-term numbers of people presenting as homeless following asylum seeker decisions to provide a roof over people’s heads, as in one of the richest countries in the world nobody should have to live without the basics of having shelter and a roof over their heads.”

Growing numbers of homeless people in Safford are at risk of sleeping rough with 118 people currently on the waiting list for the city’s ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme (ABEN).

Salford City Council claims to have seen people “camping out over the winter in the area outside the town hall in the cold and wet month of December.”

According to the council, there were 4,737 households on their housing waiting list as of November 2023, with only 965 homes advertised as being available between January 1 2023 and December 31 2023 by local housing providers.

Image taken/owned by Garry Knight.

The number of households placed in temporary accommodation whilst they await a permanent offer has reached 666 on 3 January 2024, which includes 912 children. This is the double number on the same date two years ago with a currently forecasted budget overspend on this area alone of £1.4 million.

Rough sleeper numbers are also continuing to increase with 177 people currently in the ABEN programme and a further 118 on the waiting list for a place.

The council states they are currently delivering 40 per cent more beds than they are funded for under this programme.

With rough sleeper services full in the lead up to Christmas, Salford City Council took the decision on December 20 2023 to temporarily open an overnight “welfare hub” in a former school for up to 24 people “who had nowhere to turn.”

The council expects the number of people attending the the former school near the civic centre to increase as the Mayor Paul claims the “rough sleeper system in Salford has become overwhelmed.”

Mayor Paul added: “The homelessness and rough sleeper system in Salford has become overwhelmed, with a spiralling number of people asking the local authority for help, the numbers in temporary accommodation escalating beyond available provision and tragically rough sleeping, which everyone (including our Community, Voluntary, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector(s)) have worked exceptionally hard to eliminate, is now becoming very visible again.”


Featured image screenshotted from Salford City Council YouTube clip.

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