The government will not house the homeless during this lockdown
The Everyone In scheme will not return for lockdown 3.0
Rough sleepers will not be given emergency housing throughout the third coronavirus lockdown, the government have confirmed.
During the first lockdown that began in March 2020, around 15,000 homeless people were provided with emergency housing through the government's 'Everyone In' scheme which, according to one study, saved 266 people from dying.
But this scheme was not extended to the second lockdown in the autumn, nor the third, announced on Monday.
£91.5m of funding was provided to 274 councils in September to aid with their individual plans to support rough sleepers, and the government has said it will continue its £15m Protect Programme, which provides support to areas most in need of it throughout winter.
But the Everyone In scheme ended in May, despite pressure from charities to continue the scheme as the infection rate of Covid-19 rose throughout autumn, while rough sleeping in London increased by 21 per cent during 2020.
Homeless charities Centre Point and Crisis have both urged the government to reboot the scheme at a time when temperatures are dropping.
“Last year, ‘Everyone In’ ensured local authorities and charities had the resources they needed to provide Covid-safe accommodation," said Paul Noblet, Head of Public Affairs at Centre Point.
“To their credit, ministers have announced more money for long-term homelessness services since then but, with cold weather funding falling short of pre-pandemic levels, it’s clear more needs to be done to keep rough sleepers safe over the coming months.
“Councils and charities were already struggling to cope with the volume of those facing homelessness due to the pandemic and so, with the cold weather setting in, central Government must make a fully-resourced return to the initiative that worked so well in the first lockdown,” he added.
“We saw during the first wave of the pandemic how hundreds of lives could be saved as the Government, local councils and charities pulled together to place people in emergency accommodation where they could safely isolate and protect their health,” Mr Sparkes told the i newspaper.
“Now as temperatures drop below freezing most nights, and with the highly transmissible new strain of coronavirus at large, we stand ready to work with Government to ensure everyone sleeping rough has a safe place to stay. We urge them to once again act boldly and sanction the next phase of Everyone In."