Updated: Saturday, 7th December 2019 @ 1:02pm

More people sleeping rough on streets: Homelessness across Greater Manchester rises for second year

More people sleeping rough on streets: Homelessness across Greater Manchester rises for second year

By Sam Taylor

Homelessness in Greater Manchester increased for the second consecutive year as the country’s economic woes deepen, it was revealed this week.

The number of people regarded by Manchester City Council as homeless and in priority need of housing reached 2,180 in the April 2011 to March 2012 period, up from 1,937 people the year before and the highest since 2009.

Most boroughs have seen a steady increase however, Rochdale saw a sharp increase of 134 people needing homes, the biggest in all ten of the city’s boroughs.

Ian Jolley, Homelessness Services Manager at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We are committed to helping those at risk of homelessness by working to find sustainable solutions to their housing.

“Despite the increase in demand for assistance we helped more than 1,100 households last year who were prevented from becoming homeless.”

He said that the council had commissioned a number of new services to support households they are unable to assist but said the council was experiencing greater challenges due to a 50% cut in the Supporting People grant, a programme aimed at helping vulnerable people.

Manchester City Council reported a decrease in the number of homeless people and Councillor Glynn Evans explained this was mainly because of the range of support the council offers.

“We have put in place a comprehensive service to prevent people from becoming a homeless,” she said.

“A support service to keep people in their homes as well as providing a service dedicated to supporting people to come off the streets and gain the skills they need to live independently.”

Despite council support homelessness has been on the rise nationally since April 2010.

The Department for Communities and Local Government estimates there are currently 50,290 people across England in need of housing, down from a peak of 120,860 in 2005 but up from last year’s total of 44,160.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter said: “The increase in homeless acceptances across the country over the past two years is extremely worrying.”

He warned that many homeless people are going unrecorded and the numbers were just one indication of how serious the problem is.

“For families and children in particular, the trauma of losing a home can be devastating,” he said.

“As the impacts of the recession continue to bite and with further cuts to the housing safety still to come, we fear thousands more struggling families could be tipped into homelessness and we will see these numbers rise yet further.”

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