Homelessness during the pandemic

The Catalyst Nightshelter shut its doors on March 23rd 2021 for the first time since 1st November 2011. We worked extensively with the council to place our guests into single roomed hotel accommodation and helped transport them to their new temporary home.

We continued to assist the homeless in their hotel to find them permanent places to stay and gather the documentation required to achieve that. We worked with: the Housing Team; the Drug & Alcohol Team; Mental Health Team and local GPs to achieve that end.

Our work in Thrive Community Housing continued and expanded to up to 55 men and women in studio flats.

Almost 1,700 rough sleepers have been accommodated in hotels arranged by the GLA and supported by rough sleeping charities since March.

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GLA worked to make available 14 hotels at any one time for over 1,400 people. As well as a safe place to self-isolate, hotel guests received all their meals and any medical care as required, along with other types of immediate support.
This emergency accommodation was not intended as a long-term solution. As people move on from the hotels, they are gradually being closed. It is testament to the early action taken to enable rough sleepers to self-isolate and either make hostels safe or move their residents into hotels, that there have been far fewer referrals than anticipated for those with COVID-19 symptoms. A small number of hotels will remain open, over the coming months.

132,362 households were assessed by councils as being owed the “relief duty”, where a household is deemed to already be homeless according to government statistics. The number of homeless households rose slightly in 2020-21 compared with the previous year.

Almost 1,700 rough sleepers have been accommodated in hotels arranged by the GLA and supported by rough sleeping charities since March.

 

Polling conducted by ICM Unlimited for Citizens Advice also shows that, in the UK:

  • Almost 1 in 10 private renters (8%) are behind on their rent. This equates to over 350,000 tenants across the country.

  • The average amount of arrears owed has risen by 24% in the last few months from £730 in November 2020 to £907 in April 2021

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