Thanks to the hard work of local authorities, agencies and the homelessness sector, nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown period, according to returns from local authorities to MHCLG. 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. This is a truly remarkable achievement, and one which all organisations involved should be proud.
To support this, we provided a targeted £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers. As the pandemic progressed, we provided councils across England with £3.2 billion to manage the impacts of COVID-19, including supporting homeless people. Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council were both directly allocated funds from these streams, as were the other local authorities under East Sussex County Council.
Building on the considerable success so far, Dame Louise Casey is spearheading a Taskforce to lead the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during this pandemic. Working hand in hand with local authorities and agencies from across the homelessness sector, the Taskforce will develop and lead on the next steps of the Government's response to rough sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic – ensuring as many people as possible who have been brought in off the streets in this pandemic do not return to the streets.
In total we have put in place £606 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over 2020/21. This marks a £238 million, or 65 per cent increase in funding from the previous year.