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North West has second highest homelessness death rate in the country

December 20, 2018 9:59 AM

"Irresponsible politicians" have been told to "step aside" after the Government's homelessness figures released today show that 50 people died in Greater Manchester alone last year, rising to 119 for the North West region and representing 20% of the country's total mortality rate.

John Leech MP

Manchester Opposition leader John Leech

Across England and Wales, 597 homeless people died in 2017, representing an increase of 24% over the last five years.

Responding to the figures, Manchester Liberal Democrat leader, John Leech said:

"Anyone that walks down a street in Manchester will have seen the terrifying increase in homelessness and rough sleeping, but very few have been quick enough to recognise this crisis and both the Government and local Council have been completely inept at building social and affordable homes in any sort of effective manner.

"At every opportunity, the Government has been ignorant towards those who are struggling to make ends meet, and unfortunately that is twinned with a completely incompetent Manchester Council whose idea of dealing with vulnerable people is to spend tax payer's money shunting them to another city, banning them from visible areas, taking them to court and refusing affordable housing.

"We warned that Manchester was heading towards a London-style housing crisis and now we are faced with the country's second highest mortality rates - it's shameful, embarrassing and most importantly, completely avoidable.

"Irresponsible politicians who have shied away now need to step aside and allow for a joined-up approach to tackle this crisis and the causes of it effectively and quickly; investing, improving mental health and local services, renovating and building genuinely affordable homes and ensuring that no one is left on our streets, no matter what the cause or reason."