politics

100,000 homeless people or families stuck in temporary accommodation in lockdown


Almost 100,000 homeless people or families were living in temporary accommodation during the Spring lockdown, new figures reveal.

The number of households in temporary accommodation in England soared to 98,300 by the end of June – up 14% on the year before.

The rise was largely driven by the ‘Everyone In’ scheme, which gave councils funding to put rough sleepers in hotels.

Housing charities today called for guarantees support will continue over the winter.

Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said the interventions in lockdown “were only temporary and with the economic impact of the pandemic really beginning to bite, we are starting to see this progress unravel.

“More and more people are struggling to make ends meet as jobs are lost, hours cut, and wages reduced.

Housing charities today called for guarantees support will continue over the winter (stock photos)

“As winter approaches and the risk of people being pushed into homelessness increases, Government must act now

“We need to see additional funding for local authorities, so they can prevent homelessness from happening in the first place and support renters who may have fallen into arrears because of the economic pressures of the outbreak.

“We also need to see a longer-term plan to give councils the resources to provide safe and settled housing for people who are homeless and are stuck in temporary accommodation, like B&Bs and hostels.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, added: “As local lockdowns continue across the country, many people will be facing this nightmare afresh.

“With the economic effects of the pandemic starting to bite and unemployment rising, tragically many more people could find themselves homeless in the months ahead.”

The government announced £105m of interim housing support in June and today said more than 3,300 homes would be available for rough sleepers by the Spring.

The investment is part of a long-term plan to use a £433 million fund to build 6,000 new homes for homeless people by the end of the Parliament in 2024.

In total, 276 housing schemes for rough sleepers have been approved across England, including 38 in London where 904 homes are set to be provided.

Outside of London, 238 councils have received approval to move to the next phase of development, encompassing 2,430 new homes.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our Everyone In plan is widely considered the most effective action taken by any country in the world to protect those sleeping rough from the pandemic.

“And that work hasn’t stopped – 29,000 rough sleepers and other vulnerable people have been supported into safe accommodation since the start of Covid-19.

“The next step in our mission is to ensure they have a more settled home.

“That is why we are providing over £150 million, as part of the biggest ever investment in homes for the homeless, to deliver over 3,000 new long-term homes across England, giving them the stability and security they need to start to rebuild their lives.”





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