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Thousands of homeless people rehoused amid pandemic, figures suggest

The Government say thousands have been offered emergency accommodation, such as hotels, since the crisis started.

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A cardboard homeless shelter outside a furniture store in Tottenham Court Road, London (PA)

A cardboard homeless shelter outside a furniture store in Tottenham Court Road, London (PA)

A cardboard homeless shelter outside a furniture store in Tottenham Court Road, London (PA)

Almost 15,000 homeless people have been rehoused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, figures suggest.

The Government says thousands have been offered emergency accommodation, such as hotels, since the crisis started.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government,  a total of 14,600 people have been rehoused, including 5,000 – 7,000 people who had been sleeping rough and 2,000 who were in communal night shelters.

The remainder were people at risk of sleeping rough.

The Government is now calling on communities to “continue to help the most vulnerable”.

Dame Louise Casey, the head of the Covid 19 rough sleeping taskforce, said: “While Government, councils and frontline charities are all doing what they can, it’s clear that we will need the whole of society to help too, whether that is youth hostels offering rooms, businesses providing employment opportunities, or faith and community groups reaching out the hand of friendship.

“We have seen the best of the British public and civil society already in response to this crisis and we need to keep that spirit going as we continue to help the most vulnerable former rough sleepers stay safe inside.”

Homelessness charity Crisis praised the “staggering” effort to rehouse these numbers of people, but said the figure “lays bare the true scale of the issue and the response required to ensure we don’t see a surge in homelessness once these emergency measures are eased.”

Chief executive Jon Sparkes said: “As part of this response, we need to see increased supply of social housing and support to help improve the security and affordability of private renting, including maintaining investment in housing benefit.”

PA