Inflation of homelessness in Greater Manchester proving a massive pressure on the City Council

The issue of homelessness is ever growing, Shelter, a local charity who help to tackle poverty and homelessness in Manchester have released shocking figures late last year. It was found that there are over 9,300 homeless people in the North West, the pressure on local council to accommodate those on the streets is increasing and proving difficult.

To recognise where the problem is most acute in the North West, Shelter mapped the top ten areas in the region with the highest levels of homelessness. Unsurprisingly, Manchester topped the list where 1 in every 154 people are homeless. This was followed by Salford (1 in 570), Rossendale (1 in 852), and Trafford (1 in 913).

Now these are only three areas in Manchester, this doesn’t account for the people that are missed by the system and those that are homeless but living with friends and family with no housing of their own. After speaking with Elise Westcott, media officer at Shelter, she sent me their most recent findings to help me comprehend the real scale of homelessness and how hard it will be to eradicate.

 

 

Although the town hall plans to allocate more funding to tackling homelessness, around £3m extra from April, this money will only account for the change in legislation which will increase the need for more help and shelter to prevent people from ending up on the streets.

We need to consider the people who are not yet homeless as much as those that are. The number of people who are on the brink of homelessness or needing temporary accommodation to get back on their feet is on the increase also.

By April the council expects 6,000 households to need help, it says, adding: “There will be a significant increase in demand over the next three years.”

The £3m extra seems hardly like any help as it doesn’t match the issue at hand that only keeps on growing. The pressure on the council to provide change and relieve the city of homelessness is huge. Greater Manchester is a rich industrial city and it seems embarrassing to have poverty and homelessness at its core.

The Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, is very active in enforcing as much help as possible for those who are sleeping rough. He has recently given a speech at Salford University, Greater Manchester, with the Homelessness Action Network in hopes of ending homelessness by 2020.

“We [should] all come together to develop a stronger Greater Manchester response to ending rough sleeping by 2020 and develop a proper plan to end homelessness over the decade” were the opening words of Andy’s speech.

The word ‘proper’ is one we have to take note of, it is crucial to end poverty but doing it ‘properly’ will be the only way to really be successful, although a decade seems like a long time it definitely is not when (looking at the figures) the scale of the problem is so vast.

“The problem is getting worse, there is no doubt about that, the Greater Manchester response has gotten better, but it is yet not good enough” those were the words of confirmation from the Mayor himself. It seems like homelessness isn’t going to leave us instantly and it will take time and dedication to eradicate the issue from our streets. Lets hope Greater Manchester doesn’t crumble under pressure.

Watch Andy’s full speech below. Credit: GMCA

 

Aleksandra Ganuszko

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