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Housing

Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham opens fund to end homelessness

After donating 15% of his own salary, Andy Burnham launches £50,000 fund to tackle rough sleeping

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham wants to end rough sleeping in the city by 2020. And he wants to hear good ideas on how to do it.

After winning office last month, Burnham set up a fund aimed at preventing street homelessness in Manchester. It has now been opened for applications from groups ready to get stuck in and tackle the problem.

The mayor put 15% of the £110,000 salary into the fund to get it started, and thanks to public and business donations the fund has reached over £50,000.

Visiting Wigan advice and support charity The Brick today, Burnham said: “I want to put a roof over the head of everyone in (Greater) Manchester.”

The fund, set to become a social enterprise run as a community interest company (CIC), is aimed at organisations working on ways to provide more accommodation, rehab services and mental health support across the region.

The mayor wants to see more specialist housing provision for young people, more empty properties brought back into use, and more mental health and rehabilitation programmes.

We haven’t forgotten our homeless people and in particular the rough sleepers on our streets.

Burnham has also set up the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network so charities, local authorities and people who have experienced homelessness can share the best ideas on tackling the problem.

“People across Greater Manchester have shown the world how strong and amazing we are in the past few weeks with millions of pounds raised for the emergency fund following the terror attack,” he said.

“But, in amongst that, we haven’t forgotten our homeless people and in particular the rough sleepers on our streets. I am overwhelmed by the generosity but also the strength of feeling that we won’t forget about these people no matter what else we face.”

To find out more, or to make an application for grants, visit here.

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