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Homelessness: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL5496, tabled on 9 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to find homeless people in England long-term housing after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

22 June 2020

To support local authorities effectively, the funding for 2020/21 includes:

  • The Flexible Homelessness Support Grant of £200m which seeks to help local authorities plan and respond to their local homelessness pressures; and
  • A £63m Homelessness Reduction Grant to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act enabling local authorities to do more to prevent and relieve homelessness in their areas.

This is in addition to the £160m allocation for the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Project, which seeks to provide thousands of?long-term,?safe?homes?for vulnerable rough sleepers taken off the streets during the COVID-19 pandemic and the £112m Rough Sleeping Initiative fund. This fund is designed to support the establishment or enhancement of coordinated local services for rough sleepers, or those at risk of sleeping rough.

To further enable local authorities to respond to COVID-19 pressures, we have made over £3.2 billion of additional funding available for their response across the services they deliver including helping homeless people. This is in addition to £3.2 million targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those rough sleepers currently unable to self-isolate.

We?have 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 will work hand-in-hand with councils across the country on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets.

Additionally, in April 2020 the Government increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants to the 30th percentile of market rents. This will mean it will be easier for local authorities to fulfil their homelessness duties by assisting people to find suitable and affordable accommodation in the private rented sector.