Housing associations across the Liverpool City Region plan to embrace the ‘clearing house’ approach outlined by Labour last week to accommodate the region’s street sleepers, Metro Mayor candidate Steve Rotheram MP has said.
It comes after Shadow Housing Minster, John Healey MP, outlined plans to end the national shame of rough sleeping.
Labour’s Mayoral candidate, who recently participated in a major housing summit convened by the National Housing Federation, which brought together the city region’s key housing players, has said that he will work with the housing providers in a bid to help tackle the growing issue of homelessness.
The Metro Mayor hopeful said that the initiative, which would see a number of homes ring-fenced for use by people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets, will create a ‘one stop shop’ for housing providers to meet the needs of rough sleepers.
The Walton MP says that since 2010 Government policies, such as the bedroom tax, have meant people are increasingly forced into being housed in the private sector in accommodation which is often less secure, meaning that tennants with issues are more likely to end up on the streets.
It is believed the housing associations and Mr Rotheram are keen to identify 35 homes as part of a solution to tackle rough sleeping and also provide wrap around support for those affected, particularly in relation to mental health and alcohol and substance misuse.
Steve Rotheram MP said:
“The major housing providers in the Liverpool City Region have agreed to work with me, if I’m elected in May 2017, to help facilitate 35 homes dedicated to accommodating street sleepers.
“The numbers of rough sleepers fell dramatically under the last Labour Government, with only 464-recorded rough sleepers in 2010 as a result of various Labour initiatives.
“But in the City Region, the problelem is increasing despite the excellent work by local authorities and charities. The problem isnt going away and that is why I want to tackle homelessness head-on and ensure nobody in our region has to spend an evening outdoors. This initiative can onky help to attempt to alleviate the issue.”
The plans are part of developing a broad-based strategy for achieving economic growth across Merseyside and Halton and will provide vital links between apprenticeships, skills, jobs, smart procurement and neighbourhood regeneration.