Housing

The big ideas targeting rough sleeping

As Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham pledges £1.8m to help get rough sleepers into sustainable housing, Big Issue Invest has their own ideas on how to tackle the problem

Andy Burnham has announced a “ground-breaking and innovative” £1.8 million plan to tackle entrenched rough sleeping across Great Manchester.

The Manchester Mayor’s three-year plan will offer 270 homes alongside intensive emotional and practical support as well as access to health, training and employment services to give rough sleepers a sustainable way off the streets.

The homes will be part of a new partnership with homeless charity Shelter, 15 housing providers and two private rented sector partners.

People classed as homeless will also be given free access to documents like birth certificates to aid them in securing housing as well as ensuring introducing emergency measures to help rough sleepers in cold temperatures.

“These measures will save lives this winter, and are an important step towards ending rough sleeping in Greater Manchester for good,” said Mayor Burnham.

“In terms of the cold weather policy which has been agreed across Greater Manchester, I would call on other city-regions to follow suit and follow the great example set here.”

In this week’s Big Issue, we outline how our own social investment arm, Big Issue Invest (BII), have their own initiative to help tackle the problem – with up to 8,108 people sleeping rough in London last year alone, according to CHAIN.

Outcomes-based contracts see local authorities pay up if milestones are achieved while providing a service rather than dropping a lump sum to start off a project.

But that leaves the organisation in a catch-22 scenario – money is needed to get the ball rolling, but there is no start-up capital if payment only comes once targets have been hit.

This is where BII comes in – launching their Outcomes Investment Fund in May providing investments ranging from £250,000 up to £2m with repayment based on flexible terms as the service provider hits the pre-agreed targets.

Changing Lives is the first organisation to receive an investment from the fund to help combat entrenched rough sleeping in Newcastle and Gateshead. The initiative will help get 150 people off the streets and into stable, long-term accommodation as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Homelessness Prevention Programme.

Katy Pillai, BII investment director, said: “Outcomes-based contracts are becoming more and more relevant to the charities and social enterprises Big Issue Invest exists to support.

“The Outcomes Investment Fund allows us to support them through flexible funding and sharing the contract risk, so they can focus on achieving better life outcomes for vulnerable people.”

To read more about what we can do about homelessness across the country this winter, pick up this week’s Big Issue.

Also in the magazine, ‘Mr and Mr Christmas’ Michael Ball and Alfie Boe ­talk being Together Again this year while YouTube sensation dodie Clark tells-all in a frank and honest interview.

Support the Big Issue

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