Salford has launched a new commission to tackle homelessness in the city.
No Place to Call Home will bring people who have experienced homelessness together with Salford City Council and other organisations to look at all the help people need.
It will build on all the work already being done in the city as a key part of Salford City Council’s anti poverty strategy, No-one Left Behind and support for the government’s Homelessness Prevention Bill now being debated in the House of Lords.
And Councillor Paul Longshaw, lead member for housing and neighbourhoods, revealed that plans are being finalised to offer 19 temporary beds which will provide nearly 7,000 extra nights shelter per year.
Salford City Council’s procurement board has approved a one year contract with Riverside Housing Group to provide the beds through an existing supported housing scheme in Broughton.
It will provide accommodation for increasing numbers of single homeless people who are currently being housed in expensive bed and breakfast accommodation – reducing the cost to the council by £143,000 and will help them to find work, education or training, improve their health and move on to permanent housing.
Councillor 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 or in unsuitable, unsettled temporary accommodation.
“We need everyone in Salford – housing associations, councils, charities, community groups, advice services and health organisations to work together and look at this in the round. If we can get timely advice and the right support in place we can prevent people becoming homeless while working to address the housing shortage and help people on the streets.
“It’s important to hear from people who have experienced rough sleeping, temporary accommodation or losing their home because their landlord is selling up – and learn what services and support they believe will help people in similar situations. If we all work together we can have a bigger impact and do more for people who are in desperate need.”
Councillor Longshaw added: “Over the last year we’ve done a lot to support homeless people, from funding to keep Salford Women’s Aid Centre open to working with Salix Homes to provide cold weather shelters and more temporary housing and Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust to improve mental health support services.
“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.”
The commission will start at the end of April.