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Sleeping Rough: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL6405, tabled on 2 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation is made available to LGBTQ+ youth rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

15 July 2020

We recognise that LGBTQ+ homelessness is an issue, particularly among young people and that LGBTQ+ people who find themselves homeless may have a different experience of homelessness due to their protected characteristics. My Department has provided funds to both charities and local authorities which will enable to them to support their communities, including LGBTQ+ people, whether they have been homeless, are at risk of homelessness or are rough sleeping.

At the beginning of the pandemic, our priority was to bring vulnerable people inside so they could self-isolate and stop the virus spreading. We backed this with £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers, and a further £3.7 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of COVID-19, including supporting homeless people. This may include people identifying as LGBTQ+.

This has had a huge impact– as nearly 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the COVID-19 emergency. On 24 June we announced that we are providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support those placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 14 May my Department also announced £6 million of emergency funding to provide relief for frontline homelessness charitable organisations who are directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Following a successful bidding process, over 130 charities across England are set to benefit from the £6 million emergency fund. Successful bids included Stonewall Housing which provides housing advice and support for LGBTQ+ people whether they are homeless, at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping.

On 2 May, we announced the Rough Sleeping Taskforce, which has one overriding objective: to ensure that as many people as possible who have been brought in off the streets during this pandemic do not return to the streets. Supporting the taskforce are our Homelessness Advice and Support Team, which includes dedicated?youth?homelessness advisor roles that have a commitment to work with local authorities to proactively promote positive joint working across housing authorities and children’s services, offering training, advice and support to all local authorities.