To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of (a) provision, (b) availability and (c) funding for shelters for (i) homeless people and (ii) rough sleepers during periods of extremely cold weather; and what comparative assessment he has made of the level of (A) provision and (B) demand for such services.
14 March 2018
Homeless Link publishes annual guidance on the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) and it is our expectation that local authorities work together with partners to provide basic emergency accommodation to minimise the risk of harm to individuals when the temperature drops. I recently wrote to local authorities about the guidance on SWEP which can help them protect rough sleepers in their areas at this time.
Homeless Link also publish the results of a survey of accommodation provided under SWEP or as part of wider winter provision, which you can find on their website. https://www.homeless.org.uk/sites/default/files/site-attachments/SWEP%20survey%20report%202016-17.pdf
No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why we are aiming to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027. A new Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce brings together relevant ministers from across Government, and will drive forward the implementation of a cross-Government strategy to tackle this issue. They are supported by an Advisory Panel made up of experts from local government and the homelessness sector.