Metro Mayors join forces on Housing First extension

The Metro Mayors for Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands have joined forces to call for an extension of the Housing First pilot scheme for tackling homelessness.

Steve Rotheram, Andy Burnham and Andy Street all share the same ambition to end rough sleeping and believe that the three Housing First pilots in their areas have been making a significant contribution to achieving this. They want the government to extend funding for the pilots and for the Comprehensive Spending Review to include cross-departmental sustainable funding to ensure people on the programmes are supported and don’t risk returning to rough sleeping.

Figures show that 96 per cent of those who benefited from the scheme had come straight off the streets, 25 per cent before they were 18 years old. The three pilots have worked with 1,245 individuals. Of those, 812 people have been housed in secure tenancies with an 87 per cent tenancy sustainment rate. Eighty-seven people have been supported into another home.

As well as providing a home, Housing First supports individuals with health issues and disabilities. Forty-five percent of people interviewed for the national evaluation of the pilots reported having difficulties with their mental health before the age of 16, with a further third (33 per cent) between the ages of 16 and 25. Forty-nine percent had a physical health issue and 74 per cent had a dual diagnosis. Thirty-one per cent had a disability.

There are an estimated 1,018 people across the pilot programmes who will need support when the funding ends.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “There has been an alarming rise in homelessness over the past decade, as austerity stripped away many of the safety nets that some relied on. Through these Housing First pilots, we have collectively shown that there is a better, more humane way of treating people.

“Instead of looking at statistics or targets to be met, we treat people as human beings. Rather than cutting them adrift, we offer them wraparound support to address their complex issues. And, instead of temporary solutions, we’re helping to break the homelessness cycle and change people’s lives forever. Unfortunately, the future of these Housing First pilots in the country is unclear. I am calling on government to give Housing First sustainable, long-term funding and to work with us to help roll the scheme out across the country.”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

Supplier Profiles