Immigrants: Finance

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support people who are (1) destitute, or (2) without accommodation, as a result of having no recourse to public funds (a) during the COVID-19 lockdown, and (b) after the lockdown has been lifted.

Photo of Lord Greenhalgh Lord Greenhalgh Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), The Minister of State, Home Department

Thanks to the hard work of local authorities, agencies and the homelessness sector around the country, 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.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 million in targeted funding to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.2 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

The Government recognises that these are unprecedented times, and expects local authorities to support people who are sleeping rough, and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

On 24 June we announced that we are providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support the nearly 15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment will help to ensure that as few of these people as possible return to the streets.

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