Affordable Homes For People Facing Housing Crisis In Greater Manchester
National Homelessness Property Fund 2 was created in response to the growing need for affordable housing, providing safe and decent homes for people in housing crisis, and launched in December 2020. Initially, the fund’s focus was on providing homes in the Greater Manchester region, where one in 81 people in Manchester is homeless, but the fund is now expanding into other regions across the UK including Liverpool City Region, Bristol, Oxford and Cornwall.
Aiming to purchase 800 two – three bedroom family and one-bedroom apartments across the UK, the fund has so far partnered with established impact-driven housing provider partners including Let Us, the ethical lettings agency in Greater Manchester that the fund launched with, and DHI, based in the south west. In line with its geographical expansion, the fund is continuing to gear up conversations with other local and national housing providers as potential partners.
The fund works by buying and refurbishing properties and leasing them to its housing partners to provide people at risk of homelessness with a settled home.
By partnering with regionally based housing providers, the fund not only provides local people facing housing crisis with a safe, decent and affordable home but also ensures they have access to the local specialist support services they might need in order to help them sustain their tenancy and improve their circumstances. This includes access to support for addiction, mental and physical health issues, to find and re-engage with employment or education, to set down roots in the local community and to save for a deposit, so that they can eventually move into the private rented sector with a track record of maintaining a tenancy. It also means tenants are provided with the right homes and support for them in the areas within which they are already living or would like to move to.
In the last year, the fund purchased its first properties and began handing some of these over to its housing provider partners who have started to house individuals and families.
Julie and her twin daughters were among the first tenants to be housed by National Homelessness Property Fund 2 and have been living in their new home for over six months now.
“I felt very relived from moving on from being homeless. Our new home means stability. It means being back on track as a family. Without this home we’d still be in temporary accommodation, so existing, rather than having a life. I am proud of moving the children out of a hostel and seeing them change into young adults, as life is about achieving the most for your children.
“This home has helped us to be back living within a community rather than a homeless situation and negative environment. And the support I have received was brilliant. It helped me initially set up the tenancy and helped me deal with any issues including the challenges of getting into the day-to-day running of a household.”
Dominic Walker, Lettings and Property Management Officer at Three Sixty (who has supported Julie before, during and after her move into her new home): “It’s been wonderful that National Homelessness Property Fund 2 has allowed us to be in a position to assist a family who had struggled through the most unfortunate circumstances and that we were able to offer them secure, safe and stable accommodation in the area where they already had connections.
“Best of all, it’s not just a property we’re giving someone - it’s a home. We can already see the positive changes that access to a stable home has given to this family and I truly hope we can do this for many others in housing need.”
The impact of housing provider partners to reliably scale up the provision of safe, secure and affordable housing in the community for individuals and families facing housing crisis is huge, with current property investment structures not tailored to their needs.
If your organization needs property to support people at risk of and experiencing homelessness and to deliver more impact in this sector, we would like to hear from you.
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