GM Housing First project launches in Manchester

The second phase of a three-year project that aims to rehouse over 400 homeless people in Greater Manchester starts today (1 May) with the roll out of the Manchester Zone of Greater Manchester Housing First (GMHF) led by Riverside.

In February this year, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, announced that Riverside would lead on the Manchester zone of GMHF while Great Places Housing Group, would lead the consortium to deliver the city-region’s pioneering Housing First scheme. The GMHF project will be delivered across every local authority area in the region.

The project, endorsed by the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership, is a consortium consisting of Riverside plus seven other partners: Regenda Homes; Jigsaw Homes Group; Stockport Homes Group; Greater Manchester Mental Health; The Bond Board; One Manchester and Great Places.

By the end of June the model will be rolled out across Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Salford, Trafford and Wigan.

Over time it is anticipated that the partnership will grow with more organisations coming on board and bringing online further accommodation in years two and three.

GMHF is one of three regional pilots funded by central Government, with West Midlands already under way and Merseyside soon to launch.

The Housing First model uses independent, stable housing as a platform to enable individuals with multiple and complex needs to begin recovery and move away from homelessness.  

Housing First England states that through the provision of intensive, flexible and person-centred support, 70-90% of Housing First residents are able to remain housed – having a place to call home also leads to improvements in people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The Housing First approach was first developed by Pathways to Housing in New York in the early-1990s. It has since been adopted in several major cities in the United States as well as in countries including Denmark, France and Finland.

Additionally, Housing First builds upon the existing Social Impact Bond (SIB) which has so far secured independent living spaces for 223 of the city-region’s previously most entrenched rough sleepers.

The Mayor has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in the city-region by May 2020.

For more information about GMHF please email GMHF@greatplaces.org.uk

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