Written Question on Homelessness: Coronavirus

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Homelessness: Coronavirus"
Date Title Questioner
3 Jun 2020, 4:37 p.m. Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour - Life peer) Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that no homeless person taken off the streets during the COVID-19 returns to living on the streets.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

The latest figures show that nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period. This includes people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic. To support councils across England with these efforts, the Government provided £3.2 billion in funding. This is in addition to providing £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Building on the considerable success so far, we announced that Dame Louise Casey will spearhead a taskforce to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic.

The taskforce will work hand-in-hand with councils across the country on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets. It will also seek to ensure the thousands of rough sleepers now in accommodation continue to receive the physical and mental health support they need.

On 24 May, we also announced plans for thousands of long-term, safe homes to support many of the vulnerable rough sleepers who have been supported during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, vulnerable rough sleepers taken off the streets during the pandemic can get the specialist support they need to rebuild their lives.

This unprecedented commitment – the biggest of its kind since the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative began – will be backed by £160 million in 2020 to 2021 to inject 3,300 new units of accommodation this year, part of 6,000 in total.

This means in 2020-2021, we are providing £606 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This marks a £238 million, or 65% increase, in funding from the previous year.

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