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Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett has pledged to continue the fight against homelessness as Salford marks World Homelessness Day (Saturday October 10.) Mayor Dennett said the council had faced one of its most challenging years ever with the impact of COVID-19 and that a tough winter could lie ahead. He urged anyone worried about debts to seek advice now and pledged to continue the drive to support rough sleepers and provide more affordable housing. This year Salford City Council was highly commended in the Local Authority of the Year award for its work on creating new homes and affordable housing and in tackling poverty which can lead to homelessness. The council’s supported housing team also won two team of the year honours in the national 2020 Housing Heroes awards for cutting rough sleeping by more than 80 per cent and helping over 900 homeless households into settled accommodation including 82 veterans, but Mayor Dennett said the council would not rest on its laurels because of the scale of the challenge. One of the biggest successes in tackling rough sleeping has been the Greater Manchester A Bed Every Night (ABEN) scheme, which Mayor Dennett described as ‘a lifeline.’ Salford also recently secured £417,440 of government funding to provide additional temporary accommodation for rough sleepers as well as longer term private sector options for them - the second largest allocation in Greater Manchester. Paul said:
Salford City Council will provide eight new emergency beds along with 20 self-contained homes where people can stay until long-term settled accommodation is found for them. A new support team will help them overcome any barriers such as finding a deposit, finding accommodation which will take a pet or buying household items to set up home – as well as supporting those still on the streets. Councillor Tracy Kelly, lead member for housing and neighbourhoods, announced the news after launching Salford’s new Homelessness Strategy, which sets out the city’s plans for the next five years. Councillor Kelly said: Councillor Kelly also called for the whole city to pull together to help rough sleepers and people facing the risk of homelessness, saying only an even greater combined effort from the council, NHS, housing and advice services, community and voluntary organisations and residents could tackle the crisis. She said: Councillor Kelly said over the next five years Salford would also focus on providing truly affordable homes and encouraging people in financial difficulties to seek help as soon as possible to avoid the risk of defaulting on payments and losing their homes. Salford City Council is also supporting Greater Manchester-wide initiatives to eradicate the need for rough sleeping. These include the housing first approach of finding rough sleepers homes and then helping them with other issues and a Greater Manchester-wide social lettings agency, which helps vulnerable people and people on low incomes to find and keep private rented homes. You can view the new strategy at www.salford.gov.uk/homelessstrategy Note to editors: Rough sleeping rose from 19 in 2016 to 49 in 2017 as people sleeping in night shelters were also included in the count for the first time.