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Homeless on the rise in Manchester during lockdown

HUNDREDS of people have been made homeless during the coronavirus lockdown, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said today.

At a weekly briefing on the region’s response to the pandemic, Mr Burnham said that 344 people had been recorded as newly homeless and requiring accommodation since the strict social-distancing rules were introduced.

He revealed that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority had helped find housing for 1,140 homeless people during the crisis, but 115 people across the region were still sleeping rough.

“There are people coming onto the streets through this who perhaps are finding their arrangements, possibly a sofa-surfing arrangement, has broken down,” the mayor said.

“But also, frustratingly for us, on the latest figures we are still seeing people released from prison to no fixed address and that is adding to the problem.

“Evictions, in some cases, haven’t stopped completely, so we are seeing people coming onto the street as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Mr Burnham said that emergency government funding was only available for the support of people already identified as homeless, so the newly homeless did not qualify.

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