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Coronavirus: Thousands of homeless 'back on streets by July'

Thousands of homeless people who have been housed during the coronavirus pandemic could return to the streets by the end of June, a charity has warned.

Since the lockdown began, more than 14,500 people who were on the streets or at risk of sleeping rough have been given emergency accommodation.

But Crisis has warned contracts between local councils and hotels are due to end as government funding runs out.

The government said councils must continue to provide accommodation.

But councils have asked the government to be clear on what extra practical support they will get.Local authorities in England began moving rough sleepers into emergency accommodation such as hotels in March after the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

The councils were given £3.2m from the government as part of an emergency scheme called "Everyone In", which was aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

But earlier this month, it emerged government funding for that scheme was to end. The government said it had given councils an extra £3.2bn in funding to help them deal with the pandemic, although that money is not specifically for the emergency rough sleeping scheme.

Crisis called the action to house rough sleepers over the past weeks "extraordinary", adding: "This has demonstrated that when the political will is there it is possible to end homelessness."

But the charity said the government should take further action to provide everyone with permanent housing, warning that if not people will be forced to return to the streets.

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