FOI request (FOIR-225284910)
Requested Tue 07 July 2020
Responded Wed 29 July 2020
As you are aware, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Luke Hall MP, sent a letter to all Local Authority Chief Executives in England on 28 May 2020, with the subject of 'Moving onto the next phase of accommodating rough sleepers'
In this letter Mr Hall stated, 'I am now asking that you put in place a plan of support for all rough sleepers accommodated in hotels and other forms of emergency accommodation during the response to the pandemic'. In reference to this plan he said, 'We are asking for these initial plans to be set out by 11 June'.
We would be grateful if you would provide us with a copy of your authority's 'initial plan' (i.e. the plan that your authority set out by 11 June, or any later date if relevant, in line with the request made in Mr Hall's letter). We would like to receive this plan in whatever form it took.
We would also be grateful if you would provide us with any updates your authority may have made to its plan since 11 June.
Please share your authority's plan(s) excluding any information which could be considered personal information under the Data Protection Act 2018.
This information will be used for Shelter's research and work around homelessness during COVID-19. The research will help us and Shelter to understand the different ways that local authorities are responding to the current situation and to help influence national policy.
The housing authorities submitted initial next steps proformas to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, copies of which are attached.
Our ongoing work to reduce rough sleeping forms part of our broader work to address homelessness following the outbreak of coronavirus. We have formed new partnership structures, in line with government best practice.
In line with the Ministerial letter from Luke Hall on 26 March 2020 a 'Homelessness Cell' has been formed which brings together representatives of homelessness, health, social care, criminal justice and voluntary sector partners from across East Sussex.
The group is responsible for managing the impact of coronavirus on homelessness services including:
• Managing demand and supply of emergency accommodation across East Sussex
• Co-ordinating changes to service delivery across different local authority areas
• Ensuring vulnerable people in temporary accommodation or sleeping rough have access to necessary support services
The East Sussex homelessness cell is continuing to meet and provides a regular 2-way link with the Tactical Coordination Group (TCG) of Sussex Resilience Forum. Recovery Group A sub-group of the 'Homelessness Cell' has been formed to develop a strategy for the recovery phase.
The group includes representatives of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and housing, accommodation providers, health, public health, mental health, social care partners.
The group has three priorities for the recovery phase over the next 12 months:
• Minimise our use of emergency accommodation
• Minimise the spread of coronavirus amongst homeless people
• Continue to adapt our services to meet local needs
Both groups have live project plans, which are updated regularly by partners.
Both the homelessness cell and the recovery group continue to report to established partnership structures, including East Sussex Housing Officers Group.
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