Numbers for Good is proud to have provided advisory services to a pioneering collaboration between the housing sector, social sector and social investors to tackle rough sleeping across Greater Manchester, as part of a £1.8m Government-backed outcomes contract.
The GM Homes Partnership – a consortium put together by the housing associations One Manchester and Trafford Housing Trust and social investor Bridges Fund Management – will help up to 200 of the city’s most entrenched rough sleepers off the streets and support them in building a new life over a three-year period. It aims to provide the wrap-around support needed to enable individuals to sustain a tenancy in one of 270 homes to be made available by 15 Greater Manchester housing providers and two private rented sector partners – with charities Shelter, Great Places and The Brick ensuring individuals receive the intensive emotional and practical support they need to access appropriate health, training and employment services.
While there have been periods of significant reductions in homelessness over the years, the issue of entrenched rough sleeping – defined for the purposes of this programme as individuals who have slept rough at least six times in the past two years and/or are well known to homelessness services – has never been fully addressed.
Bridges has agreed to invest to cover the up-front costs of the programme via its Social Impact Bond Fund, the world’s first fund dedicated to investing in outcomes-based contracts, while the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has committed to pay for any successful outcomes achieved. This project will be the largest of the DCLG-backed ‘Entrenched Rough Sleeping’ SIBs, and the largest Government commitment to any homelessness programme outside London.
Dave Power, group chief executive of One Manchester, said: “I know I’m not alone in being shocked to see the numbers of people sleeping rough rising in Manchester, so we absolutely must pull together to address this. Our ultimate aim is to ensure people who have found themselves back on the street time and again have the chance to start a new life in the right kind of home with the right support.
“This funding enables us to do this by responding to the individual circumstances which lead people to a life of sleeping rough. This is a hugely important initiative and we are ready to take action, now. Thanks to this collaborative approach we have an opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives by providing the right kind of tailored support.”
Tej Dhami of Numbers for Good said: “The approach taken by our partners epitomises the principles of social investment and it has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the process. The combination of strong local networks, physical assets, world class social program delivery and outcome focused social investors combined with the flexibility and freedom to innovate offered by social impact bonds will transform lives for the long term.”
John Ryan, who runs Shelter’s Manchester hub, said: “The Greater Manchester Homes Partnership is a great opportunity for us to work collaboratively with a range of partners to reach even more people across the city who urgently need our support. The partnership will help end the devastating scourge of street homelessness, which is one of the Mayor’s priorities, and we are delighted to be part of it.”
Andrew Levitt, Partner, Bridges Fund Management said of Numbers for Good’s role:
“Numbers for Good did an excellent job for One Manchester and Trafford Housing Trust, running a complex process with multiple potential investors in a very clear, transparent and professional way. We found the Numbers for Good team to be extremely helpful and responsive throughout the process. They worked incredibly hard to identify and address any potential information gaps or ambiguities at the earliest possible opportunity, thus ensuring that there was absolute clarity around the key points at issue. This made it a much smoother process for all the parties involved, and should reduce the chances of any unexpected surprises further down the line.”
The programme is part of a wider approach to tackling homelessness in the region, which Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has pledged to eradicate. For more information about this visit https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/info/20000/housing_planning_and_homelessness.
The GM Homes Partnership is the third homelessness SIB Numbers for Good has arranged in 2017 – following supporting the commissioning of the first locally commissioned homelessness SIB in Northampton and working with Changing Lives and Big Issue Invest to support homeless people in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Photo credit: Mike Niec