Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Mayor calls for partnership with Government as A Bed Every Night launches its ambitious third phase

  • Phase 3 planned as a transition from Government’s ‘Everyone In’ pandemic scheme
  • Mayor of Greater Manchester calls for a partnership with Government to secure success of Everyone In policy
  • Government backing needed to support rough sleepers’ moves from hotels into A Bed Every Night
  • £4.75 million committed to continuing to support people from the streets – Mayor restates commitment to end the need for rough sleeping across entire city-region

A Bed Every Night, Greater Manchester’s ambitious programme for ending the need for rough sleeping across all 10 boroughs, will begin an innovative new phase from July, supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens in a post-pandemic city-region.

The third phase of the scheme will deliver 445 beds across all 10 boroughs. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is calling for a partnership with Government to help deliver a successful transition from the current national Everyone In programme for all those currently living in hotels and other accommodation suitable for self-isolation.

Everyone In is a direct response to the humanitarian emergency caused by the coronavirus crisis. So far around 1,500 people have been assisted through Everyone In in Greater Manchester during the pandemic, with more than 650 still in emergency accommodation, including hotel accommodation.

The Mayor is also calling on Government to work in partnership with Greater Manchester to fully fund the city-region’s Everyone In accommodation for all those sleeping rough or at imminent risk of rough sleeping.

The Mayor said: “When Government announced its Everyone In policy, requiring the swift accommodation of people sleeping rough, we welcomed it as work here was already well under way. We invested £2 million of funding in kick-starting a rapid response and I cannot praise the teams at all 10 of our local authorities, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Greater Manchester health services, the Greater Manchester Mayor's Charity and many voluntary groups and charities enough for the quick and effective way vulnerable people were assisted into safe and supported emergency accommodation.

“But Everyone In needs to do what it says on the tin. The pandemic has resulted in a spike in the numbers of people sleeping on our streets and in good faith, encouraged by Government policy, we have worked hard to accommodate as many as possible. So it cannot be right to now be told that the funding we expect to receive from Government under the scheme will cover only those identified as sleeping rough before the disease struck. Everyone In should mean everyone in, and we need to work in partnership with Government to make sure their policy is reality.

“Of course, Everyone In was never meant to last forever. When it comes to an end we will need funding to ensure vulnerable people are not suddenly left without accommodation. It will take time to phase out hotel use and reinstate the A Bed Every Night system, and we will need to work with Government to do it as effectively and sensitively as possible.”

Since its launch in November 2018, A Bed Every Night has helped people sleeping rough, or at imminent risk of rough sleeping, into warm and safe temporary accommodation with access to somewhere to sleep, food and other targeted support.

More than 3,000 individuals have accessed A Bed Every Night since it began, and of those over 1,000 have been supported through the programme and into longer-term accommodation, continuing their journeys away from a life on the streets.

Following the relocation of 300 A Bed Every Night residents from shared accommodation, typically night shelters, into self-contained hotel rooms and other forms of accommodation as required under Everyone In, the third phase of the Greater Manchester programme is designed to operate effectively in a post-Covid city-region.

Protocols will be introduced to establish and maintain infection control safety for all residents, staff and volunteers. Accommodation will seek to be provided in non-shared sleeping arrangements, either in self-contained rooms or accommodation with low density shared bathroom and kitchen facilities, such as in houses of multiple occupancy.

Infection control measures will be developed from existing care and residential settings guidance and, given Greater Manchester’s devolved health and social care powers, will continue to be reviewed by partners at GM Health and Social Care Partnership who will liaise with Public Health England.

The Mayor added: “It is right we look to the next stage of our work to tackle rough sleeping and the third phase of A Bed Every Night, once it commences later this summer, will ensure transition from the hotels and other alternative accommodation sourced for Everyone In into managed, safe and sustainable environments. It will enable as many people as possible to continue their journeys away from a life on the streets.

“In Greater Manchester we are rightly proud of the progress A Bed Every Night has made in helping us reduce rates of rough sleeping across our 10 boroughs - the last official Government figures showed an almost 50% decrease in the two years before the pandemic struck.”

Paul Dennett, GMCA Lead on Housing and Homelessness, said: “The role of A Bed Every Night becomes even more critical as a humanitarian relief programme as we move towards living with coronavirus and manage the continued risk to life that this presents to those who are vulnerable.

“Tragically, more people have been forced into homelessness since the start of the pandemic and consequently we have also seen an increase in new numbers of people sleeping on our streets following Government’s instructions and our initial response to bring everyone into self-contained accommodation to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and spreading.

“It is truly shocking that within 21st century Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world, that we’re experiencing a protracted housing and homelessness crisis, which is clearly going to be further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore critical that we support the continuation of A Bed Every Night in Greater Manchester and ensure that those who tragically find themselves homeless continue to have a roof over their head and the certainty of ongoing accommodation and support. It will also ensure that Greater Manchester can continue to offer accommodation and support to people who are sleeping rough, now and into next year.”

It is estimated that the third phase of A Bed Every Night, scheduled to operate from July 2020 until March 20201, is forecast to cost roughly £4.75 million, with expected contributors to the budget including the Mayoral Precept (£2m), Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity (£200,000) and Greater Manchester health and social care partners (£2m).

In addition, local authorities are to be encouraged to seek to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit against accommodation provided to increase the financial viability of this programme.

A Bed Every Night will continue to be delivered as one part of a wider system of activity in Greater Manchester to prevent and relieve rough sleeping, including the Rough Sleeper Initiative, the Rapid Rehousing Programme and the ongoing Housing First pilot funded by £7 million from Government.

Prompted by the current pandemic, GMCA continues to engage with Government for a comprehensive national homelessness policy change to ensure that everyone in the country who is rough sleeping is provided with accommodation and support, following the A Bed Every Night model. The new head of the Government’s specialist taskforce, Dame Louise Casey, last year praised A Bed Every Night for its “extraordinary impact” in reducing rates of rough sleeping in Greater Manchester, and suggested that “what is achieved [in the city-region] could make a real impression on public policy not just nationally but internationally.”

Article Published: 21/05/2020 14:21 PM