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#HomelessLink

Stop denying help to people who do not have a local connection to public funds (NRPF).

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The group of charities, which includes Crisis and Homeless Link, said they have heard repeated examples of councils denying help to people who do not have a local connection to the area or who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

This is despite a letter which was sent to councils last week by minister for homelessness Luke Hall, which ordered them to find accommodation for all rough sleepers during the coronavirus crisis, including those with NRPF.

Charities warn ‘second wave’ of homeless people will need accommodation during coronavirus crisis

An individual with NRPF is someone who is not eligible for government support due to their immigration status.

Since last week, councils across the UK have been block-booking hotels in order to house people who are sleeping on the street or in shelters.

In their letter, the charities said that significant progress has been made, but said “far too many people are still rough sleeping or staying in dangerous communal night shelters”.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We commend the government’s swift action to protect people most at risk by ensuring they have somewhere safe to stay during the pandemic.

“But the stark fact remains that there are people whose lives are still in danger, sleeping on our streets or trapped in crowded hostels and night shelters.

“To fulfil the ambition of getting ‘everyone in’ we must see the final barriers stopping people from getting the help they need removed”.

“This means ensuring councils have the money they need to support people into hotel accommodation and a clear message that anyone, no matter who they are or their circumstance, will get the help they need to shelter from the pandemic.”

“We must also ensure that once people have been accommodated they get access to the health care they need if they are affected by the virus, and in the long term are supported into safe, permanent housing once this crisis is over.”