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Homelessness: Ethnic Groups

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL8836, tabled on 6 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address homelessness amongst BAME groups who are at greater risk from COVID-19.

Answered on

14 October 2020

Our rapid response to the pandemic through ‘Everyone In’ has ensured that thousands of people experiencing or at risk of rough sleeping have been housed in emergency accommodation since the start of the pandemic, to protect those at greater risk from COVID-19. The Next Steps Accommodation Programme is supporting local authorities and their partners to prevent people from returning to the streets. This is backed by over half a billion pounds to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping this year.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide accommodation for households that are homeless and defined as being in priority need, unintentionally homeless and eligible for assistance. They are obliged to secure temporary accommodation for the household in the first instance until suitable long-term accommodation can be secured.

The priority need category includes those who are vulnerable as a result of special reasons and local authorities should consider the impact COVID-19 is having on those with protected characteristics when carrying out their homelessness assessment and determining priority need.