Housing for the Homeless - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:52 pm on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Crawley Baroness Crawley Labour 4:52 pm, 14th May 2020

My Lords, it is right that local and national Government took speedy action to take many off the streets at the start of this Covid emergency. Rough sleepers of all people would have got the roughest end of this pandemic. I welcome the announcement of a dedicated fund of £3.2 million, on restoring local housing allowance rates, on halting possession proceedings and of course on the appointment of Dame Louise Casey. However, local authorities are still taking homelessness applications, as the noble Lord, Lord Young, said, and life after Covid could include a substantial increase in new cases. This must be the time, as the noble Lord, Lord Bird, said, for a new beginning, and I ask the Minister: what permanent housing is being planned for the thousands of rough sleepers invited in at the beginning of the emergency? Do they agree with Crisis and others that we really need to lift LHA rates permanently to cover average rents? Do the Government also agree that building far more social housing is now essential?