Bishop of Durham asks Government to help rough sleepers leaving Covid-19 temporary accommodation

On 14th May 2020 the virtual House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Bird “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to support people who were previously homeless into permanent housing after the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the short debate:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I applaud the achievement of accommodation having been offered to 90% of rough sleepers. The community collaboration that achieved this reflects the focus of the housing commission set up by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury of building strong communities alongside homes. What plans do Her Majesty’s Government have to create multiagency partnerships to create an integrated homelessness system?

Those who are homeless with NRPF are particularly vulnerable when discharged from temporary Covid-19 accommodation since they cannot access social tenancies. What consideration have HMG given to the pathways offered to NRPF migrants who have been temporarily accommodated?

I welcome the establishment of a rough-sleeping task force. Does the Minister agree that this task force must also consider those at risk of homeless due to the crisis?

Last winter, church night shelters provided a lifeline to 2,000 rough sleepers. To avoid a peak in rough sleeping next winter, what plans do HMG have to protect those at risk of homelessness?


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