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Sleeping Rough: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL12733, tabled on 28 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many rough sleepers there are in England; and what plans they have to deliver the same level of support as the ‘Everyone In’ campaign, launched on 26 March 2020 for the duration for which restrictions are in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

9 February 2021

We have taken unprecedented steps to protect rough sleepers during the pandemic. This work has not stopped, and through Everyone In, by November we had supported around 33,000 people with nearly 10,000 in emergency accommodation and over 23,000 already moved on into longer-term accommodation.

Given the new variant of COVID-19, and the current national lockdown, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that people who sleep rough are kept as safe as possible and that we do everything we can to protect the NHS. This is backed by £10 million to protect rough sleepers and ensure their wider health needs are addressed.

We have written to all local authorities, to ensure that even more rough sleepers are safely accommodated, and to ask that this opportunity is actively used to make sure that all rough sleepers are registered with a GP where they are not already and are factored into local area vaccination plans, in line with JCVI prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The most recent national statistics on rough sleeping are the Autumn 2019 annual statistics, which showed a total figure of 4,266 rough sleepers on any given night. The next rough sleeping snapshot statistics for Autumn 2020 will be published later this month.

We continue to work with the homelessness sector, local authorities and health and care partners, to ensure the needs of those experiencing homelessness can be met during the pandemic.