Homeless families need more coronavirus protection, charity says

By William Eichler | 20 March 2020

Families in temporary accommodation should be provided with better protection against coronavirus, a housing charity has said.

New figures on homelessness, released yesterday by the Government, showed that in the last year a household became homeless every four minutes in England.

The figures also revealed that there are 62,280 homeless families living in temporary accommodation, of which 9% (5,400) are living in emergency bed and breakfasts and hostels where they have to share kitchens and bathrooms.

Numbers of families living in temporary accommodation have increased by almost a third (31%) in the last five years.

Chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, Polly Neate, said: ‘In the last few days, the Government has acted swiftly to help renters and people sleeping rough by putting in place strong emergency measures to help safeguard these groups during the coronavirus crisis.

'It must now do the same for homeless families in shared and one-room temporary accommodation.

‘We need to protect families already experiencing the trauma of homelessness from greater risk of coronavirus.

'That’s why we’re urging the Government to follow suit with additional funding and support for councils to help those currently in shared temporary accommodation and prevent anyone else ending up there.

'This is a key way we can keep more people safe.’

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