Changing the face of homelessness

Great Places is the accountable body of a project that’s changing the way we deal with homelessness.

The Greater Manchester Housing First pilot is a partnership of 11 organisations that’s changing lives across the region, taking an innovative approach to help some of the people for whom other support models have not worked.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced that Great Places would be the lead partner of a cross-sectorial partnership to house 330 people in a three-year £7.6million pilot project.

The Housing First ethos, which was devised in New York, uses housing as a platform for people with multiple and complex needs to begin recovery and move away from homelessness.

Our Housing First Workers can put in many hours with the people referred into the pilot, to get them their own home and then provide the wraparound support in order to sustain their own tenancy.

At the start of December we had successfully rehoused 172 people, with a further 279 on the pilot.

The pilot runs until March 21 2022 and we will update you further in the next edition of My Great Place.

Check out our top tips to help you speed through the Universal Credit journey

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work. The difference with Universal Credit is that your rent is paid directly to you in monthly payments, instead of your landlord.

If you’re about to apply or are midway through the Universal Credit application process, here are our top three tips to speed you through the journey:

Get Internet access - Claiming and receiving Universal Credit is all done online, including managing your account and claim. Think about where and when you can access the internet – many of our customers require daily access to their account. If you need free access to a PC - find an online centre near you.

Set up a direct debit - With Universal Credit you will need to budget your money on a monthly basis, rather than on a weekly basis. It is therefore easier to set up a direct debit once you start receiving your benefit to make sure you pay your rent on time.

Claim Council Tax Support - If you are already on Council Tax Support, let your local authority know that you’ve claimed Universal Credit. Be mindful that Universal Credit does not automatically give you access to Council Tax Support, so your local authority may ask for further evidence in relation to your claim. They will usually need to see the Universal Credit award breakdown as they tend to use that to assess whether you’ll be entitled to Council Tax Support.

Check out our website at greatplaces.org.uk/uc where you will find lots more tips to help you whizz through the journey.