Manchester Council plans to open empty buildings to homeless people Reuters

Taking a leaf out of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville's book, Manchester Council is planning to open up its empty buildings to homeless people. The efforts come following a six-fold rise in the number of rough sleepers in the city since 2010.

The city's council is looking at vacant premises to determine which buildings can be used to temporarily house people during the winter months. The move is said to be one of many plans to tackle increasing homelessness in the city. Aspiring home owners would need to borrow 12 times the average income to buy a property in Hale Barns and Trafford, the least affordable areas in Greater Manchester, according to the Manchester Evening News.

"A team of officers from across the council are actively looking at potential buildings to increase capacity for evening and overnight accommodation so that no one has to sleep outside during winter months," Councillor Paul Andrews, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing for Manchester City Council told the Independent.

"This includes a survey of council-owned buildings which might be appropriate for this purpose and we will be working with our voluntary and community sector partners to develop this offer and ensure that such accommodation is safe, well managed and effective," he added. "We are also exploring potential opportunities to work with private sector building owners. Buildings will be opened as soon as reasonably possible."

Earlier this month, former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs informed rough sleepers that they could stay in spend the winter in the Manchester Stock Exchange. The pair had previously purchased the site, which they are developing into a boutique hotel, and Neville has paid to make the space habitable. The former defender also provides the people with three hot meals a week from Hotel Football, which Neville opened with Giggs in March.