New accommodation in south Manchester to help homeless families into permanent accommodation has been hailed a success, as it celebrates its first anniversary.
Apex House opened in March 2021 offering temporary accommodation for struggling homeless families to prevent them spiralling into long-term homelessness – and 62 families have already passed through its doors and into permanent accommodation.
It has proved so successful that the council is now working with developers and looking at other premises in the city where its innovative model can be replicated.
Apex House offered support to those families who found themselves either newly homeless or housed in unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation and who needed a temporary solution while they got their lives back on track.
The council leased the former office building which had been refurbished into twenty flats by HSPG.
Three on-site support workers work very closely with the families and the council’s private rented sector team to move families into the private rented sector and not temporary accommodation.
In the last year, 82 families have been accommodated in Apex House and 62 have been supported to move on, 20 of which are still receiving support to find permanent accommodation.
Of the 62 families who have been rehoused, 37 families (60%) were rehoused within eight weeks, 12 families (19%) were rehoused within three months.
For 13 families (21%) with greater needs, it has taken more than three months to find them the most appropriate move on accommodation, but all have had positive outcomes.
“Manchester is leading the way with innovative solutions to support families get back on their feet,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, deputy leader of Manchester City Council.
“We are incredibly pleased with the results of this new approach to support families into permanent accommodation in Apex House.
“It has proved so successful that we would like to replicate this across the city.
“No-one wants to find themselves homeless, but Apex provides good temporary accommodation in a modern, fully furnished building.
“Our aim is to house families here for as short a period as possible before moving them quickly into settled accommodation.
“We are seeing the benefits of this model with targeted support which moves families on in a short space of time helping to keep family disruption, particularly children’s education, to a minimum.”
Vineta Simon, 31, and her two-month-old baby have been at Apex House for a month, and she is full of praise for the facilities and the staff.
“I come from a working family, I’ve always worked, I owned a car, had a home but when I got pregnant and my relationship broke up, everything went downhill,” she says.
“I had to reach out for help for the first time ever and it has been a really difficult journey, from becoming homelesss, something I never thought would happen to me, up until now.
“When I got this flat in Apex House, I burst into tears because it was so clean, nicely refurbished and it just felt really safe and secure; it had an immediate impact on my mental health, it made me feel like a human being again.
“The facilities are fantastic and there are staff around all the time to help me.
“Being in this flat with my baby has given me some breathing space and I can see light at the end of the tunnel, whereas before I could never imagine my future.
“I want to get on and find a new home and go back to work, I am thinking about building a new future with my baby and I want to give something back because I will remember each and every one who has helped me along the way.”