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3 May, 2020 Open access

Specialist taskforce to be created to lead the next phase of the government’s support for rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Initiative will be lead by Dame Louise Casey and will 'work hand-in-hand with councils across the country', says Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

A specialist taskforce is to be created to lead the next phase of the government’s support for rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be lead by Dame Louise Casey, the government say that the new taskforce will work to ensure that the thousands of rough sleepers now in accommodation continue to receive the physical and mental health support they need over the coming weeks while they continue to self-isolate from the virus. (The government says that more than 90 per cent of rough sleepers known to councils at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis have now been offered accommodation where they can self-isolate.)

In addition, the government says that the taskforce will -

'... work hand-in-hand with councils across the country', on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over - ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets. '

In yesterday's Downing Street coronavirus press conference, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick said -

'Dame Louise Casey, who is already leading a review into rough sleeping and advising the Government on ending it within this Parliament, has been appointed by the Prime Minister and I to spearhead this new Government initiative and she will lead a new taskforce ...

We are determined that as few people as possible return to life on the streets, and I can think of nobody better than Louise to help us to achieve this.'

NB - Mr Jenrick also announced that -

For more information, see Dame Louise Casey to spearhead government taskforce on rough sleeping during pandemic from gov.uk