Government announces additional protections for people facing homelessness during third national lockdown – Crisis response

Today (8 January 2021) the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, has announced additional support to help protect people sleeping rough and renters from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This comes as England entered its third national lockdown earlier this week.

The announcement today includes:

- an additional £10 million in funding
- a directive that all councils in England must redouble their efforts to help accommodate all those currently sleeping rough and ensure they are helped to register with a GP so that they can access the vaccines
- an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions until at least 21 February for all but the most severe cases

Reacting to these measures, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“These renewed efforts to protect people who are homeless in the pandemic will save lives.

“It was truly a landmark moment when, back in March, everyone on the streets was offered somewhere safe to stay. It’s as important, if not more so, that today we see government leadership to protect all those sleeping rough. The highly infectious new strain of coronavirus alongside the cold weather makes this the most dangerous moment of the pandemic for those without a home.

“What is very welcome here is the two-pronged approach - a continued commitment to getting everyone into safe accommodation but also now making sure people are registered with a GP so they can quickly access the vaccines. We know through our services that people facing homelessness often are not registered with a doctor’s surgery. Addressing this issue will be a lifesaving intervention and a step towards ensuring people who are homeless are protected in the longer-term.”

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