England’s scheme to house all rough sleepers during lockdown won’t restart

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 4:02 pm

England’s first lockdown last March prompted the Government to invest money in order to house rough sleepers in temporary accommodation.

But, as the country enters into its third lockdown, it has been revealed that the government will not be repeating its ‘Everyone In’ initiative.

No additional funding has been announced and the government will not restart the scheme, reports iNews.

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What is the Everyone In scheme?

The Everyone In scheme provided temporary accommodation, including hotels, for homeless people and rough sleepers when the coronavirus pandemic first hit.

A University College London (UCL) study found that the scheme, which moved nearly 15,000 homeless people into emergency accommodation in March and April, saved tens of thousands of England’s most vulnerable people from catching Covid-19.

However, the scheme ended in May and did not begin again when homelessness charities made calls for it to return during England’s second national lockdown in November.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homelesness charity, Crisis, said at the time: “With a new lockdown imminent, the UK government must bring ‘Everyone In’ back in England with ring-fenced funding for local councils to provide Covid-safe accommodation for anyone experiencing or at risk of rough sleeping.”

Shelter’s assistant director of research, Chris Wood, also reiterated this, saying: “No one should fall through the cracks this winter.”

Plans over the winter months

Now, as the country enters into its third lockdown, there are no plans for Everyone In to be restarted.

The Government has said it will continue its commitment to the £15 million Protect Programme, which was launched in November to help areas that need the most additional support during both the coronavirus restrictions and winter.

In September, £91.5m was allocated to 274 councils in order to fund their individual plans for rough sleepers over the next few months.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, told iNews: “The Government has taken unprecedented action to support the most vulnerable people in our society during the pandemic - backed by over £700m in funding.

“We continue to work closely with councils and health services to provide this support.”

However, the chief executive of Crisis has once again called for the Everyone In scheme to be restarted.

“Now as temperatures drop below freezing most nights, and with the highly transmissible new strain of coronavirus at large, we stand ready to work with Government to ensure everyone sleeping rough has a safe place to stay,” Mr Sparks told iNews.

“We urge them to once again act boldly and sanction the next phase of Everyone In.”