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An extra £85m has been announced by the Treasury to provide emergency accommodation for 5,400 rough sleepers who have been placed in hotels in England for the duration of the pandemic, avoiding them having to return to the streets when the hotels reopen to the public this summer.

The extra money will allow councils to rehouse rough sleepers in student accommodation and to find alternative spaces elsewhere until more permanent housing is found.

Dame Louise Casey, the chair of the Covid-19 rough sleeping taskforce, said she was extremely relieved the extra money had been allocated, allowing charities and councils longer to work to find long-term housing for those rough sleepers who have been staying in Ibis, Holiday Inn and Travelodge hotels at the government’s expense since the end of March.

“This will make sure that local authorities and others don’t have to put people back out on the street. I think it would be, frankly, inhuman – because we’ve given people a taste of life off the street and a taste of life where you get your health looked after.

“The last thing we want is for anyone to go back,” she said. The funding meant she could “guarantee” that nobody would have to leave to return to a life on the streets.”

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source: The Guardian
published: 24 June 2020

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