The Homeless Listings

The Homeless Listings



  • Homelessness in Oldham, Manchester, is twice the national average, with an 80% increase YOY between January and April
  • Campaign broke on 1st October in the run up to World Homelessness Day on 10th October

4 October 2023 – The stark reality of homelessness is laid bare in a new campaign by Leith for Mustard Tree, a charity dedicated to eradicating poverty and preventing homelessness in Manchester. ‘The Homeless Listing’ aims to put the issue of homelessness in Manchester under the spotlight and help support Mustard Tree’s fundraising efforts. The campaign broke on OOH2 and Social on the 1st October in the run up to World Homeless Day on 10th October.


The Homeless Listing features a series of conventional estate agent ads that, rather than presenting desirable homes for sale and rent in Manchester, reflect the stark reality that people in homelessness face when looking for a place to sleep in the area. ‘Stunning 1 bed duplex in the centre of the city’, ‘Charming 1 bed property in a serene cul-de-sac’, and ‘Fantastic ground floor residence close to major transport links’ are among the descriptions offered by fictitious estate agents ‘Unliveable Properties’, ‘Unacceptable Homes’ and ‘Wrong Move’.

In sharp contrast to the property particulars highlighted within the ad, the images depict a different story, showing mattresses in, damp doorways, alongside canals and in carparks, surrounded by trash and graffiti, with accompanying floorplans which serve to emphasise just how desperate the situation is. Each ad conveys a message about the UK Housing market pushing people into homelessness and calls for support for Mustard Tree to help combat the problem. In a video that can be accessed by scanning a QR code on the ad, Graham Hudson, Mustard Tree’s facilities manager and a former client of Mustard Tree, talks about his experience with homelessness and asks viewers to donate to the charity.

Jo Walby, CEO, Mustard Tree commented; “Increased demand for our services due to the cost of living crisis and post-pandemic fallout, is leaving us creaking at the seams. We are on the precipice of having to consider making reductions in the services we can provide – which is utterly terrifying. This campaign is a call for help, to get the support of local people and businesses in Greater Manchester, to help us keep going.

“The harsh reality is that more and more people are homeless in Manchester right now, with this number set to escalate as the winter nights draw in. This campaign won’t fix the problem, but it will expose how hopeless the situation is for the many facing yet another night sleeping rough , or on someone’s sofa”


Ed Brooke, Managing Partner, Leith commented; “As rents rise and the waiting list for social housing grows, the housing crisis in the UK is forcing an increasing number of people into homelessness. We’re all used to looking into estate agency windows at ads showcasing gorgeous properties, so we thought this medium would be particularly powerful in exposing the desperate situation people are facing today.”


UK homelessness is on the rise as rents soar. In the North West, Manchester has the greatest prevalence of homelessness, with one in 74 individuals believed to be homeless, according to a survey by the housing organisation Shelter1. Homelessness in Oldham, Manchester, is now nearly twice the national average with an 80 per cent year-on-year increase between January and April, and a similar rise in the number of children living in emergency housing.

  • End –


For further information contact:

Poppy Butcher

M. +44 7956 169209



Notes to editor:

1The OOH ads, supplied by the Republic of Media, will feature in sites across Manchester including a billboard in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester City Centre.

2 Shelter report 2023



Art Director: Joe Sayer

Copywriter: Marion Miranda

Strategy: Chris Atha

Executive Creative Directors: Troy Farnworth, Phil Evans, Jon Chapman

Marketing Manager: Ruth Macadam
Managing Partner: Ed Brooke


About Leith

Leith is an award-winning creative agency with offices in Manchester and Edinburgh and works for clients including IRN BRU, Mustard Tree, Nandos, NatWest, Network Rail, The Scottish Government and L’Oreal.


About Mustard Tree

Mustard Tree are a charity who aim to combat and prevent poverty, inequality and homelessness across Greater Manchester. Since 1994, Mustard Tree have helped thousands of people from setting up a new home, to providing food for families in need to giving people work experience so they have a higher chance of moving into employment.

© 2018 - Mustard Tree | Registered Charity No. 1135192 | Registered Company No. 04386613