Greater Manchester housing providers pledge extra support for care leavers

Housing associations across Greater Manchester have joined forces with the city region’s Mayor to pledge to improve opportunities for young care leavers.

Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP), which represents 27 of the city region’s largest housing associations and ALMOs, have signed a pledge with the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to provide more support to hundreds of young people leaving care each year.

Under the pledge, each housing provider will work to offer stable accommodation to care leavers, along with additional support to help them begin to live independently.

The pledge was signed in a virtual meeting last month featuring representatives from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Department for Education, Manchester City Council and the poet Lemn Sissay.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Good housing is critical to a happy and healthy life. It is the foundation that everyone needs and insecure housing is at the root of so many of our problems as a society.

“We know life as a care leaver can be hard. Without the safety nets so many of us take for granted, such as parental support, everyday living can be a struggle when faced with barriers most people never encounter.

“In co-signing this commitment alongside Greater Manchester Housing Providers and others, we are restating our support for Greater Manchester’s care leavers.”

GMHP’s members own and manage over 250,000 affordable homes in Greater Manchester, housing over half a million of the city region’s residents.

The consortium’s pledge commits the 27 providers to offering care leavers stable housing, while each care leaver will also be offered employment and skills opportunities and peer mentoring.

Support care leavers can expect to receive includes advice on money management, repairs rights advice and life skills, while all care leavers will be offered a guaranteed interview for jobs they apply for with the providers.

Each of the 27 providers will also appoint an in-house champion to advocate for improved services for care leavers and will encourage its suppliers to join it in signing the pledge.

Jon Lord, chair of GMHP and group chief executive of Bolton at Home, said: “This pledge is a recognition that we have to work together to improve the opportunities for young people who have experienced care.

“It is a recognition that some young people are dealt a tougher hand in life, and it is our responsibility as a community to ensure that we can work together to support them to have safe and stable housing, plus finding them good jobs and training to succeed in life.”

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