Sleeping Rough: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Sally-Ann Hart Sally-Ann Hart Conservative, Hastings and Rye

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to ensure that rough sleepers do not return to the street as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

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

This is a public health crisis more than anything and so requires a health response. To enable this our priority was to urgently bring vulnerable people inside so they could self-isolate and stop the virus spreading.

Almost 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown period.

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 this pandemic

The Taskforce has one overriding objective: to ensure that as many people as possible who have been brought in off the streets in this pandemic do not return to the streets.

We announced on 24 June that we are providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support the c15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A further £16 million will also be provided so that vulnerable people currently in emergency accommodation can access the specialist help they need for substance misuse issues, in order to rebuild their lives and move towards work and education. This brings the total funding for substance misuse this year to £23 million.

This funding is on top of the £433 million which we announced on 24 May to provide thousands of additional long-term homes for vulnerable rough sleepers. This ambitious commitment will be backed by £160 million this year to support up to 6,000 rough sleepers into longer term accommodation, with 3,300 units of this accommodation becoming available in the next 12 months.

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