Dan Peters 25 September 2020

Hundreds of homeless lives saved by emergency accommodation, researchers find

Hundreds of homeless lives saved by emergency accommodation, researchers find image

More funding and emergency legal changes are ‘critical’ so local authorities can continue to support people in safe and secure accommodation, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has said.

Jon Sparkes warned the Government should not expect people to return to shared accommodation in shelters as the winter months draw in and coronavirus continued to pose a threat for rough sleepers.

He said: ‘This would reverse the significant progress made in the last few months and could compromise the lives of people most at risk.’

Mr Sparkes was speaking after University College London researchers found the lives of hundreds of homeless people in England may have been saved by the provision of emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 crisis.

But lead author Dan Lewer said the risk of outbreaks ‘remains very high as we head into winter’.

Minister for rough sleeping and housing, Kelly Tolhurst, said protecting vulnerable rough sleepers this winter was a ‘priority’ for the Government.

She added: ‘Our Next Steps accommodation programme provides the funding and support to help prevent people from returning to the streets.’

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