Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has urged the government to declare a homelessness emergency as he revealed the next phase of the city’s plans to tackle rough sleeping.
The Labour mayor slammed the government’s target to prevent anyone from living on the streets by 2027 as “hopelessly unambitious” and pointed to the success of his own A Bed Every Night scheme – which helps the homeless people of Greater Manchester by providing beds for rough sleepers – as a model for other areas to follow.
Speaking at Manchester city centre homelessness charity Mustard Tree, Burnham revealed that the scheme has given 1,423 people emergency accommodation with 480 receiving a suitable housing solution.
This is a humanitarian crisis is of our own making – and entirely fixable. We need to approach it with a new mindset and a new urgency,
That scheme will move into ‘phase two’ next month and will be funded for another year up until June 2020 while the mayor also confirmed that he will include plans to make it a permanent fixture in his manifesto for re-election next year.
“Last week Parliament voted, rightly, to declare a climate change emergency. But where is the declaration of a homelessness emergency?” said Burnham.
“Surely, when hundreds are dying every year on British streets, that is exactly what is needed. People in doorways is in danger of being accepted as just an inevitable and unchangeable fact of modern life. It can’t be allowed to happen.