William Eichler 18 December 2019

Rough sleeping in Greater Manchester down by nearly 40%

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, urges the Government to do more to help the homeless as figures reveal rough sleeping has fallen by 37% in one year in the city-region.

The figures from the rough sleeper count that took place in the city-region in November 2019 show that the number of people sleeping rough has fallen from 241 in November 2018 to 151.

Manchester saw a drop of over a quarter (26%) while Trafford now records only one person sleeping rough.

Since devolution in Greater Manchester in 2017 and various initiatives to tackle rough sleeping, such as the A Bed Every Night scheme, the number of people sleeping rough has dropped 44% in two years, after increasing nearly every year since 2010.

Commenting on the figures, the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: ‘We still have much further to go on our mission to end the situation of people sleeping rough in Greater Manchester but this is real progress.

‘It has been achieved by the hard work of hundreds of caring people in our councils, charities and faith communities and the generosity of the Greater Manchester public. It shows the power of this place when we work as one.

‘But we now need much more help from the Government. We need an end to policies which are forcing people onto the streets – such as the freeze on local housing allowance – and more support to extend schemes like A Bed Every Night right across the country.

‘A policy of ending rough sleeping by 2027 is simply not good enough. People are dying on British streets now for want of a home and Greater Manchester is proving that, with urgent action, lives can be saved this winter.’

Eleanor Watts, Riverside’s area manager for Greater Manchester and co-ordinator of A Bed Every Night across Greater Manchester, said: 'Last year Greater Manchester became the first city-region in Britain to commit to providing A Bed Every Night.

'This incredible reduction in rough sleeping of more than a third (37%) just goes to show what can be achieved when agencies and communities come together to help end homelessness.

'A Bed Every Night is pioneering a new way forward to tackle homelessness in Britain and the Mayor and Greater Manchester as a whole should be proud of how we are coming together to combat rough sleeping on our streets.'

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