GREATER Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was the guest of honour at a conference to unlock the potential of the private rented sector and its landlords in helping to tackle the housing crisis and provide more homes for programmes such as Greater Manchester Housing First.
Mr Burnham was joined by Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett at Manchester Art Gallery, along with landlords and letting agents from across Greater Manchester along with representatives from The Bond Board, the Ethical Lettings Agency, housing associations and local authorities.
Organised by Greater Manchester Housing First, the conference was aimed at promoting the virtues of using services such as the Bond Board and ELA to let their properties, which will allow those properties to be used to rehouse people who have experienced homelessness.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “It’s no secret that there is a housing crisis in Britain and rough sleeping is something that should not be happening in our country in the 21st century.
“In Greater Manchester, our scheme A Bed Every Night is making a real and sustained difference in reducing the numbers of people living outdoors, but there remains an ongoing challenge to reduce rough sleeping and all forms of homelessness.
“With social housing under strain and housing lists getting longer, we need to unlock the potential of those properties in the hands of private landlords to help ease the problem.
“I was pleased to meet and speak with landlords and organisations at Manchester Art Gallery. I hope events such as Friday’s ultimately lead to more private landlords using excellent services like the ELA and The Bond Board to help get people and families into the right homes as quickly as possible.”
Mr Dennett added: “Homelessness and rough sleeping have been issues we have worked to eradicate and although we are making progress, there is still a lot to be done.
“Only by all sectors working together can we help people who need somewhere to live into their own home.
“So to see so many landlords and organisations come together for a common goal was very gratifying and hopefully we can see more properties being made available from private landlords and organisations.”
Emily Cole, GM Housing First programme lead, said: “We created this event to try and tap into the private-rented sector, and we were delighted to get so much interest from the GMCA and landlords and letting agents.
“GM Housing First is having a real impact, but to ensure we are able to rehouse the people we have in the pilot, we need a good supply of properties across Greater Manchester and we hope this event will help with this need.”