More people in Greater Manchester are having to use homeless shelters while in work

The shocking trend is clear from figures on individuals referred to the scheme A Bed Every Night which is tackling rough sleeping.
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More working people in Greater Manchester are using homeless shelters, shock figures show.

There were 223 employed individuals referred to A Bed Every Night for emergency accommodation and support from January to September. This is a 15.5 pc increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

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The highest number of referrals for people in work to the Greater Manchester scheme, which aims to prevent and reduce rough sleeping, was from Salford. It comes as around 50 people have started sleeping rough for the first time every month since March, with most new referrals from Manchester.

Nationally, despite being in full-time work, 10,560 households were found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness between January and March. This was the highest number of people in full-time work recorded as homeless since the government started recording this data in 2018, according to Shelter.

What has been said about these figures?

John Ryan, services lead for the housing charity in Manchester, said: “The dire shortage of genuinely affordable homes leaves thousands of people homeless each year, and now the cost of living crisis is making the country’s housing emergency much worse.

“Despite working every hour they can, too many people simply cannot find a safe place to live because private renting is too expensive, there are nowhere near enough social homes, and they are struggling with soaring bills. Nearly half of private renters have zero savings, and our frontline services hear from people every day who’ve got nothing left to cut back on.

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“To help people who’ve already lost their home to get back on their feet, and to prevent homelessness rising further, the new Prime Minister must unfreeze housing benefit so those on lower incomes can actually afford to live somewhere. But to end homelessness for good, building decent social homes with rents pegged to local incomes is the only answer.”

What are the authorities doing about this?

The latest figures have been reported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) ahead of a meeting of local authority leaders this week.

The report cites results from the Greater Manchester Residents survey last month which found that 4 in 5 people are worried about rising costs of living.

A government spokesperson said: “We are investing £2 billion over three years so we can end rough sleeping and prevent homelessness. This is providing thousands of beds, long-term supported homes and funding for councils to prevent evictions.

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“More than half a million households have been prevented from becoming homeless since 2018 and this winter our Energy Price Guarantee will save households on average £700, with an extra £1,200 of cost-of-living support for the most vulnerable.”