Off the streets: how Manchester found homes for hundreds of rough sleepers

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Three years on from its launch, the GM Homes Partnership has become one of the UK’s most successful homelessness projects

Three years ago, Andy Burnham made what seemed to some a fanciful commitment: to find homes for 200 of Greater Manchester’s most entrenched rough sleepers.

Addiction was no bar to a tenancy, nor a criminal record or a history of evictions. Applicants didn’t have to get clean first: once they got the keys they would be monitored closely and offered “wrap-around” support to get their lives on track. It was a big deal given the intense competition for social housing – at the time, Manchester alone had a waiting list of 12,900.

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