Saturday, March 21, 2020

UK hotels to become homeless shelters under coronavirus plan

The plan is designed to halt the spread of Covid-19 among homeless people and rough sleepers. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

Hotels and offices will be converted into emergency safe spaces under a national action plan drawn up by Tony Blair’s former homelessness expert, to protect rough sleepers from coronavirus.

Louise Casey, hired by Boris Johnson last month over the issue of homelessness, was scheduled to start her role after Easter but deepening disquiet that the government was “sleepwalking” on homeless people’s vulnerability to Covid-19 led to the former head of Blair’s rough sleeper unit being drafted in to spearhead its response.

The strategy to safeguard the homeless will be announced on Monday and follows the lead of California in allowing vacant hotels to be requisitioned into homes for rough sleepers and those vulnerable to the virus.  Read more >>