SUPPORTERS of a housing initiative - which covers Bolton - have celebrated helping their 200th person into a permanent home.

And nearly half of those provided with accommodation, as part of Housing First, have been since the start of lockdown.

The three-year Housing First pilot in Greater Manchester has seen rough sleepers given a leg up into secure housing placements, amid hopes it can be extended beyond its March 2022 current cut-off.

Further work has taken place in Bolton alone on a rough sleeping grant scheme.

Emily Cole, programme lead, said: "Our dedicated workforce from all across the partnership has worked tirelessly to help some of the most vulnerable people in the region.

“This impressive number is the culmination of hundreds of hours of engagement work behind the scenes, and a journey that has been supported by our dedicated delivery teams and our wider housing and support partners.

“And with tenancy sustainment rates of 88 per cent, we have been able to prove that Housing First can work at scale.

The pilot expects to have moved 330 people into their own home by its end.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham added: “We have had no evictions and 88 per cent of tenancies have been sustained and we are just so proud of what has been achieved under the Government pilot."

He urged the government to make the Housing First pilot, which is also being trialled in Liverpool and the West Midlands, into a permanent scheme.