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Homelessness: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities), Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) homeless people, (b) rough sleepers who do not meet the legal test of Priority Need but have (i) underlying health conditions and (ii) are in the age demographic most susceptible to the effects of covid-19 are safeguarded.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities), Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to amend the criteria for Priority Need for (a) homeless people and (b) rough sleepers to reflect the (i) age and (ii) underlying health condition implications of covid-19.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities), Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional funding will be made available to local authorities to provide housing for (a) rough sleepers and (b) homeless people to cater for the additional number of people that will qualify for Priority Need during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government recognises the challenges faced by those who are homeless or sleeping rough during the Covid-19 outbreak. We are working closely with local authorities and the sector to minimise the risk for vulnerable people and those currently unable to self-isolate.

As an initial first step we have announced £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to help rough sleepers and those at risk of sleeping rough to self-isolate. This funding will assist local authorities with providing accommodation and support to vulnerable people who are at risk of, or who have been diagnosed with, Covid-19.

Priority need is decided by local authorities on a case by case basis. We have advised local authorities to use this funding flexibly to accommodate any rough sleeper or person at imminent risk of sleeping rough, who is unable to self-isolate.

£1.6 billion will go to local authorities to help them respond to other pressures related to Covid-19 across all the services they deliver. This includes increasing support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.

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