More homeless people died in Manchester than in any other local authority area in England and Wales in 2017, according to the first national statistics capturing the pattern of deaths among rough sleepers and people living in homeless shelters.
In 2017, 21 homeless people died in the city, three more than in Birmingham and four more than in Liverpool. Official rough sleeping counts in Manchester have soared from seven people in 2010 to 123 in 2018.
In the most extensive review of its kind, the housing charity Shelter combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures. This showed the number of homeless people in Britain has increased by 13,000 in a year with more than 300,000 people homeless across the UK. The report found 1 in every 154 or 3,511 people in Greater Manchester were homeless.
The Manchester street count in 2018 has seen a 34% rise compared to 2017. The street count is a single night snapshot, carried out between 1 October and 30 November, of people sleeping rough in a local authority area. Rough sleepers are the visible tip of the iceberg of the much larger homelessness crisis.
The figures for Manchester show rough sleeping had increased to 123 in 2018, from 94 in 2017. The number of females counted in 2017 was 14, so the figure of 23 this year represents a 64% increase in females counted. The number of young people (18-25) counted on the streets also saw a rise to 12 in 2018, from 5 in 2017, which is a 140% rise.
The number of destitute families living in Manchester’s bed and breakfasts has tripled in five years – as the city’s ballooning hidden homelessness crisis outstrips its affordable housing supply.
Since April the town hall has seen a 15pc increase in applications for homelessness support, they reveal – but even before that, the council was buckling under soaring demand. Between 2013 and 2018 the numbers of homeless families it placed in B&Bs – widely considered to be unsuitable for children due to their instability and lack of facilities – had already shot up threefold from 372 to 1,045.