Coronavirus crisis should spur better care for rough sleepers, say councillors

Two councillors are calling for financial support to move rough sleepers on to longer-term housing.

During the coronavirus crisis, Brighton and Hove City Council has housed about 190 rough sleepers into hostels, bed and breakfasts and even university halls of residence.

But Green councillors David Gibson and Amy Heley want the council’s Housing Committee to consider how to provide move-on accommodation.

They are asking the committee to explore how this could be funded and when it could happen at a meeting next Wednesday (29 April).

They said: “Rough sleepers have been housed, there is a temporary halt to evictions and local housing allowance has been increased.

“We commend the work of officers and the administration in providing accommodation for over 170 rough sleepers.

“We have an opportunity to advance the pledge to ‘end the need for rough sleeping’ and now need to apply the same degree of urgency to ensuring that ex-rough sleepers are given suitable move-on accommodation and are not forced back on to the streets when the immediate crisis ends.”

They are asking for a report to look at how the council can continue to offer somewhere for rough sleepers once the current places are no longer available.

They also want the council’s chief executive Geoff Raw to write to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick to ask for more money to cover the cost of housing rough sleepers during the pandemic.

The council has spent £2.4 million of emergency funding on rooms for rough sleepers as well as £350,000 on staff, security and food.

The Housing Committee is due to hold a “virtual” meeting on Wednesday (29 April) at 4pm.

To watch a webcast of the meeting, go to present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1021&MId=9884.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    That is about £17,000 per homeless person in less than 6 weeks which appears to be a lot of money going into somebodies pockets.

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