Weathering Welfare Reform
Social housing is dependent on rental income to remain financially viable. Much of this income is currently dependent on Housing Benefit. The imminent changes are expected to have significant implications for housing providers and their tenants. In principle, the public, those providing support to vulnerable groups and housing providers understand the need for welfare reform, with the true aim being to provide assistance to help people back to work and stability.
Despite the Government's commitment to exclude single people under 35 who fall within specified vulnerable groups, from the full impact of the benefit cap, by committing to pay the one bedroom rate rather than the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR); there will undoubtedly be a significant impact on many households and particularly young people under 35 and care-leavers. Households, already severely stretched and increasingly dependent on charities and food banks, will struggle and there is a real risk of more people becoming homeless or falling below the poverty line.
Manchester Homelessness Fund
In his first few days in office, the newly elected major of Manchester Andy Burnham has launched a fund in a bid to tackle the growing issue of homelessness in the city.
Homelessness has been a growing issue in Manchester over the last few years with the number of people living on the streets quadrupling since 2010. According to a Manchester Evening News article, published in January, rough sleeping in Manchester has increased a massive 41% in the last year alone with at least 189 people sleeping on the streets in Greater Manchester.