Laura Sharman 24 November 2020

Councils have 'serious concerns' over protecting rough sleepers this winter

Some councils will face the 'difficult choice' of leaving people to sleep rough or placing them in unsafe accommodation this winter, a new report has warned.

The report, published by Local Partnerships for the Local Government Association (LGA), found that some councils lack enough safe accommodation to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19.

It also warned that some councils have seen a rise in the number of rough sleepers since the start of the pandemic.

Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson, said: ‘Many councils have serious concerns about whether they can provide adequate emergency accommodation during cold weather and not increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

’As a result, some face an incredibly difficult choice of whether it would be better to leave people sleeping rough on the streets or bringing them indoors where they could be infected.

’The funding announced by the Government so far has been helpful for councils, but it is unlikely to be enough to ensure that people sleeping rough get the support and protection they need this winter.’

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