THE MAYOR of Greater Manchester and City Mayor of Salford have warned of a “second wave of homelessness” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, making an urgent call on Government to strengthen the support available to local authorities and rough sleeper initiatives.
Andy Burnham and Paul Dennett, the Greater Manchester lead on Housing, Homelessness and Infrastructure, have written to the Government following submission of evidence by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to the Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee on the impact of COVID-19 on homelessness and the private rented sector.
They say that it would be “wholly wrong” for the Government to walk back from the ‘Everyone In’ policy to house all people experiencing homelessness, including those sleeping rough, during the ongoing pandemic and its aftermath. They warn that without further funding and a continuation of this policy there will be “an increase in rough sleeping and a return to unsafe living conditions that threaten the lives of people at risk from fatal infection”.
Burnham and Dennett are calling for a series of measures from the Government in the face of “an imminent and foreseeable step change in the number of families facing extreme challenges in meeting their housing costs”, including removing the benefit cap and the two child limit to Universal Credit.