THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on the government to declare a homelessness emergency and embrace the city-region’s comprehensive plan to tackle rough sleeping as a national strategy.

Speaking yesterday he said: “Last week Parliament voted, rightly, to declare a climate change emergency. But where is the declaration of a homelessness emergency?

“Surely, when hundreds are dying every year on British streets, that is exactly what is needed. People in doorways are in danger of being accepted as just an inevitable and unchangeable fact of modern life. It can’t be allowed to happen.

“This is a humanitarian crisis of our own making – and entirely fixable. We need to approach it with a new mindset and a new urgency.”

Mr Burnham added: “We need a society that picks people up as soon as they fall rather than picks up the pieces after they have been left shattered for months.”

He also revealed he is determined that the region’s A Bed Every Night scheme, established last autumn, will be extended by 12 months.