Coronavirus: LGA responds to rough sleeping announcement

Cllr David Renard, Housing spokesman for the LGA, responds to the Government’s announcement to provide 6,000 new supported homes as part of a commitment to end rough sleeping.

“It has been a monumental effort by councils to get the overwhelming majority of rough sleepers and homeless people off the streets. Bringing forward the funding announced in the Budget for rough sleeping accommodation and the additional resources for specialist support will help councils to protect their most vulnerable residents as we look beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

“Councils want to take this opportunity to change the lives of our most vulnerable residents and stand ready to work with government on a national plan to move people into safe, long-term housing with access to wider support they might need for substance dependency and help with benefits, skills and getting work. 

“Following the initial surge in demand for accommodation, councils are also now experiencing an urgent need for more accommodation as people, including young people, continue to face homelessness and rough sleeping.

“While the funding for councils to support rough sleepers is positive, we still need clarity from government on what additional practical support will be available to councils to help them move people out of hotels and temporary accommodation and into housing.

“Allowing Councils to be able to keep 100 per cent of receipts from Right to Buy sales and extending the deadline to spend the money to at least five years, will allow councils to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.”