GREATER Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) is playing a key role in a new three-year initiative to help almost 200 of the region’s most vulnerable rough-sleepers into accommodation.
This will be achieved through a £1.8 million scheme, invested in by the Bridges social impact bond fund (SIB) which the Pension Fund has invested £2.5 million into for social impact projects, which will also deliver solid investment returns.
Through strong partnership-working between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the ten councils, public services, business and the Third Sector (voluntary groups) – the region has come together to deliver the newly formed Greater Manchester Homes Partnership (GMHP). GMHP will provide the support needed to help entrenched rough sleepers take a tenancy in one of 270 homes to be made available by 15 Greater Manchester housing providers and two private rented-sector partners.
Charities such as Shelter, Great Places and The Brick will ensure they get the support they need to access appropriate health, training and employment services, which is also vital to the scheme being a success.
For the purposes of the programme, entrenched rough sleeping is defined as people who have slept rough at least six times in the past two years and/or are well known to homelessness services.
Cllr Kieran Quinn, chair of GMPF and executive leader of Tameside Council, said: “The whole point of this scheme is to change lives and create a social impact. However, I want to stress that it is also a very sound investment.
“If it’s successful, as I’m sure it will be, the Government will pay back the money. In addition, we will see a positive, knock-on effect with reduced pressures and savings made in wider areas of health services and the criminal justice system and as they will be dealing with fewer people who are living on the streets.
“GMPF is completely committed to the scheme and developing stronger communities. It has invested £2.5 million into the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund – about 11 per cent of the total fund size, and Bridges is investing almost £900,000 into this very worthwhile project.
“The Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s involvement comes through the Invest 4 Growth plan. This was established in 2014 with assets of £160 million specifically to make investments in projects like the SIB that combine strong returns with a positive economic and social impact.”
John Ryan, who runs Shelter’s Manchester hub, commented: “The Greater Manchester Homes Partnership is a great opportunity for us to work collaboratively with a range of partners to reach even more people across the city who urgently need our support.”
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