Everyone needs a place to call home, but the Greater Manchester region is experiencing a housing and homelessness crisis. More than 97,000 households are on the social housing waiting list with over 26,000 of these households identified as being in priority need. Additionally, over 2,000 households in Greater Manchester are living in temporary accommodation and waiting for a permanent home – so the need for decent and affordable homes in the region is great.
Someone who has been living in temporary accommodation in Greater Manchester for the last two years, is Julie, along with her twin daughters. This has been a challenging time for her and her family because they were moved to an area unfamiliar to them, away from their friends, family, school and support networks.
First tenants housed by National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2)
Julie and her daughters are some of the very first tenants to be housed by NHPF2. They recently moved into their new home, back in the local community where they lived previously, and where Julie’s daughters go to school. Their home is a two-bedroom apartment, close to many local facilities, green open spaces and good public transport.
Resonance purchased the property in late spring and our in-house property team has since fully refurbished and improved the property’s energy efficiency. This included full electrical rewiring, upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom, and redecoration of all rooms plus the communal landing areas and stairway. The team ensured the property was clean, safe and welcoming for Julie and her daughters – somewhere they would be proud to call home.
Let Us is the fund’s Greater Manchester partner. They support tenants throughout their move and settling and establishing themselves in their homes. They help tenants to sustain their tenancies, improve their circumstances by signposting them to specialist support, and eventually help them move on to more permanent housing when they are ready.
Julie has now been living in her new home for almost a month now, so we caught up with her to find out how the move went and the difference being back in her local community is already making to her and her daughters.
Julie said: “I’m from Reddish and have always lived in Stockport. I have three children, including twin daughters who are at school in Reddish. But when we lost our home, we had to move out of the community we lived in.
“Everyone deserves a roof over their head, but we have struggled living in a different environment, a new area, to the one we were in before.”
Julie explains how she and her family are settling into their home, back in the community they have lived in previously and know so well, and the difference their home is making already, after only a few weeks:
“This is a new start. We have all the tools to begin again. Schools are close, the children are happy, we have everything available to make this successful.
“My mental health and depression have improved already. My children were already attending the school here, so now they don’t have to get two buses just to get to school.
“We are back living in an area where I feel safe, back to where I have doctors, school, friends, family. Where my children can go out in a familiar area. It’s like I have woken up!”
A new start
“It is security, providing a home for my family. Temporary accommodation serves a purpose, it helped me when I was homeless, but this is a new start where I can make a home.”
We also spoke to Dominic Walker, Lettings and Property Management Officer at Three Sixty, who has supported Julie before, during and after her move into her new home.
Dominic explained: “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.”
John Dunn, Property Fund Development Manager at Resonance said: “We are delighted that Julie and her daughters are settling so well into their new home after only a few weeks. Having a new, stable home back in the familiar community they love and know so well is helping them rebuild their lives and giving them the confidence to – as Julie puts it – “make a new start”. This is exactly what our homelessness property funds aim to do.
About National Homelessness Property Fund 2
Find out more about this fund:
*All stats from Greater Manchester’s Housing Strategy 2019-24.
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