Salford-based ForHousing will be providing 10 new homes for people who are at risk of becoming homeless as part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP).
The housing association is converting five newly purchased semi-detached properties into 10 one-bedroom flats, which will be furnished and offered at a low-cost social rent to people who may otherwise end up sleeping rough.
Work started on the £1.37m redevelopment of the homes, spread across Irlam, Eccles, Little Hulton and Central Salford, in April 2021 and is set to be completed in June 2021.
A total of £690,000 funding will come from the RSAP.
The government’s £433m RSAP aims to deliver up to 6,000 homes for rough sleepers and will bring forward accommodation to help tackle rough-sleeping in the long-term.
The scheme complements the government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative, which was launched last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone In ensured that people who were sleeping rough, at imminent risk of living on the streets or living in communal sleep spaces where social distancing was not possible were offered emergency accommodation.
ForHousing worked with Salford City Council, as well as councils in Oldham and Knowsley, to provide accommodation for 139 homeless people to enable them to practice social distancing.
The homes were provided with essential furniture items, and everyone who moved in was offered a permanent tenancy or support in finding more appropriate long-term accommodation.
43 of those people are now living within the same property and have a tenancy with ForHousing, meaning they now have a place to call home.
The scheme represents an expansion of the existing support and provision that ForHousing provides for temporary accommodation use.
ForHousing currently leases 170 properties to local authorities for them to provide their statutory homeless duty.
ForHousing will be working closely with Salford City Council to identify the people who will be offered places in the homes.
Nigel Sedman, group director of Homes at ForHousing, said: “Having a safe place to call home is so important for us all, enabling us to build a strong foundation for our wellbeing.
“We’re delighted to have received this funding and to be working with Salford City Council to provide these homes for people who have or were likely to end up sleeping on the streets.
“We’ve recently completed several other developments for people at risk of homelessness across Salford, and we couldn’t be prouder to be providing these homes, which will help people to rebuild their lives and flourish.”
Councillor Tracy Kelly – deputy city mayor and lead member for Housing at Salford City Council – said: “These 10 new homes are vitally needed in Salford – we are in the middle of a national housing crisis.
“We currently have more than 5,800 people on our housing waiting list and 63 people bidding for each home that becomes available.
“Every extra home that can be provided is desperately needed and provides a positive step for somebody to avoid homelessness. This is great news.”
Tenancies for the homes provided through the RSAP will be available for a maximum of two years to help ensure accommodation continues to be made available for rough sleepers for many years to come.
ForHousing is working with Salford City Council on a second phase of the original bid made to the government’s RSAP to potentially provide more homes for rough sleepers in Salford.
During 2020, ForHousing completed work on a £3.9m project that saw 39 homes built for people facing homelessness in Salford.
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