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3 November, 2020 Open access

Labour calls on government to urgently re-start ‘Everyone In’ initiative to protect rough sleepers over the winter period

Shadow Housing Secretary also asks that only self-contained accommodation be used and that restriction for those with no recourse to public funds be lifted

The Labour Party has called on the government to urgently re-start the 'Everyone In' initiative in England to protect rough sleepers over the winter period.

In a letter to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, the Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonnaire highlights the lives that were saved by the 'Everyone In' initiative during the first wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and asks that the government - 

'... urgently re-start ‘Everyone In’, to protect rough sleepers from a cold, dangerous winter. Will you issue clear instruction from central Government that everyone should be brought in off the streets, and provide appropriate support for local authorities to achieve this?'

Also urging Mr Jenrick to publish advice from Public Health England on the use of communal night shelters, Ms Debbonaire adds - 

'Nobody should have to choose between a potentially unsafe communal shelter and spending the night on the streets. Given the current rates of COVID-19, will you revise [current] guidance to clarify that only self-contained accommodation should be used, and provide local authorities with the support to achieve this?'

NB - Homeless link has also called for the reinstament and funding of a second 'Everyone In' initiative to prevent deaths and the spread of COVID-19, and ensure that people receive support to meet their other health and wellbeing needs as the pandemic continues.

Ms Debonnaire's letter is available from labour.org.uk