Funding secured for ten homes to help rough sleepers in Oldham get back on track


25/03/2021

In partnership with Oldham Council, we have been awarded government funding to create ten homes for rough sleepers who have been helped off the street during the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding will help refurbish and convert ten FCHO-owned, non-residential unoccupied properties across the borough and turn them into self-contained, Covid-secure, one-bedroom homes for individuals and couples in Oldham with a long or repeated history of rough sleeping.

As part of their tenancy, the new occupants will also receive wraparound, intensive support from our Community Impact Team to help them build a life away from homelessness.

Work on the properties is currently underway and all the homes will be ready to live in by early July.

Their completion also means that beds in temporary accommodation will be freed up to help support other local people who become homeless in the months ahead.

Financial support for the project has come from the government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP). This is to help make sure that homeless people who have been brought into emergency accommodation since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic don’t return to the streets.

FCHO and Oldham Council have been awarded funding of £167k towards the costs and we are providing a further c. £243k, taking the total programme value to c. £410k for the refurbishment and furnishing of the properties.

Kelly Webb, FCHO Operations Director Customer First, said: “Sadly, we’ve seen homelessness increase locally, especially since the start of the pandemic. This funding will help our joint efforts with Oldham Council to protect some of our borough’s most vulnerable people.

“Many people end up sleeping rough through no fault of their own and would love the opportunity to have a place to call home. The ten properties will provide safe accommodation in which former entrenched rough sleepers can resettle and develop independent living skills. Support from our Community Impact advisors will also help these customers take the next steps in their journey to sustained tenancies and prevent them from returning to a life on the streets.”

Cllr Hannah Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We look forward to seeing residents moving in supporting them towards a better future.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on homelessness and the vulnerability of people sleeping rough. It’s also highlighted just how easily many of us could find ourselves in the same situation.

“These ten new homes are a step in the right direction and we hope more funding is made available so we can extend this work and help many more people across the borough.”

The ten newly refurbished homes will be allocated to people in need by Oldham Council’s Homelessness Service.

NSAP