To: Manchester metro mayor, Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Manchester Demands a Winter Homelessness Plan
Put in place a bold and radical Winter Plan that would actively prevent homelessness in Greater Manchester.
With the support of Greater Manchester Housing Action, we are calling on Greater Manchester Combined Authority to make it a priority and matter of urgency to publish a comprehensive, council funded, inclusive winter plan to stop deaths by rough sleeping that includes:
1) For empty, unused buildings to be immediately opened, adapted and equipped as winter night shelters and day centres for all of MCR's street homeless
2) Cease winter evictions across Greater Manchester to avoid any family or persons becoming homeless throughout this season.
3) Increase availability and access to safe winter homelessness shelters by removing discriminatory policies, ensuring shelters are free from police warrant and Home Office immigration enforcement officers.
A full list of what we believe should be included in the Winter Homelessness Plan can be found on the website link below.
We want to hold a public meeting where Andy Burnham and his cabinet can be held accountable for the crisis in Greater Manchester and commit to strategic, long term preventative action that is publicly presented in advance of winter 2019.
Why is this important?
When Andy Burnham was elected Mayor of Manchester, he promised to end homelessness in the city by 2020. But, there is still no concrete commitment or plan in place that says exactly how this is going to happen, nor that this commitment will continue following his first term.
Hundreds of people across Greater Manchester are living on the streets in temperatures that are unbearable. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority have released an article stating official figure has fallen, due to the A Bed Every Night scheme, however this alone isn’t enough. Without a proactive and preventative Winter Plan, this crisis will not end by 2020. As the GMCA continue to develop the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, the 10 boroughs should set a long term sustainable strategy that addresses the cause of homelessness, as well as offers solutions to those who are at risk and in need of housing.
How it will be delivered
We will deliver the petition, along with an open invitation to a public meeting to Andy Burnham and the other 10 council leaders via email, to continue communications with the council leadership and confirm the date for a public meeting. We want to see the Winter Homelessness Plan incorporated into the Combined Authorities long term strategies for planning and housing across Greater Manchester, such as the Housing Strategy and GM Spacial Framework.