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Response to Guardian on support for rough sleepers

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Vulnerable people

On the 26th May the Guardian reported on an interview with the Mayor of London, who suggested funding to support rough sleepers to self-isolate was going to run out by mid-June which could lead to a surge in rough sleepers returning to the streets.

The Ministry disputes this suggestion – there’s no plan to roll back support for rough sleepers – and our response to this article, part of which is included, is below.

An MHCLG spokesperson said:

"Any suggestion we are rowing back on our commitment to support rough sleepers is untrue.

“We have given councils in London £517 million to deal with the immediate pressures they are facing – including to support rough sleepers - and the Greater London Authority has been given £18m much of which is being used to support rough sleepers

"We are accelerating plans for rough sleeping services announced at Budget – backed by £433 million – which will ensure 6,000 new housing units will be put into the system, with 3,300 of these becoming available in the next 12 months.

“Our new rough sleeping taskforce – led by Dame Louise Casey – is working with local areas across the country, including London, to ensure as many rough sleepers as possible can move into long-term, safe accommodation.”

Additional information:

  • Plans are being pulled together by the Rough Sleeping Taskforce, led by Dame Louise Casey, bringing together partners and businesses in order to use the coronavirus crisis and current successful work so far in bringing ‘everyone in’ as a catalyst towards ending rough sleeping for good.
  • As part of this commitment, Homes England, in partnership with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has pledged to work hand-in-hand with leading housing associations and local authorities to fast-track thousands of units of longer-term accommodation for rough sleepers needed now.
  • As a crucial part of the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with councils to ensure they can help vulnerable rough sleepers and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.
  • The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not changed.
  • The Government has now announced a further £1.6bn of new funding to support councils as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and this includes vital funding for the vulnerable rough sleepers helped off the streets and from communal shelters.
  • This is in additional to £3.2 million to specifically help rough sleepers and £1.6 billion to respond to the wider pressures during this national emergency.
  • Emergency legislation is in place to delay when landlords are able to evict tenants – landlords must now give tenants at least three months’ notice.
  • We have legislated so that landlords will have to give all tenants three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession. Ongoing housing possession cases have also been suspended for 90 days. We have the power to extend this if necessary.

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