Over 590 new homes for rough sleepers approved in North West

Credit: PA

The government has announced that more than 590 new long-term homes for rough sleepers have been approved in the North West.

The accommodation will be made available by March 2021 as part of a funding package of over £150million for new homes in every part of England.

The government has said that it will deliver 6,000 new homes for rough sleepers by the end of this parliament in 2024.

Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping said: "The efforts to protect rough sleepers throughout the pandemic have been truly outstanding, and I want to wholeheartedly thank all the charities, councils, housing providers and support groups who have made this possible.

"We want to ensure the progress continues for years to come and the new, safe and supported homes in the region, including in Manchester, Wigan and Rochdale, are the cornerstone of our work to tackle rough sleeping and provide a solid foundation for those affected to rebuild their lives."

The funding has been welcomed by councillors in Manchester.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council's Lead Member on Homelessness said: "This is crucial funding, which will allow us to buy flats that will make a real and lasting impact on the lives of people who have fallen on difficult times.  

 "One of the biggest pressures that we have faced is a lack of accommodation for people to live when they have come off the streets. Securing a long-term solution is crucial if we are to give people stability and prevent them from returning to a life on the streets."

Once they have the keys to their new home, rough sleepers will be supported by specialist staff to access the help they need, such as support for mental health or substance misuse needs, according to the Ministry of Housing.