What happened to the homeless people in Welwyn Hatfield who were housed during lockdown?
PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 24 August 2020
At the end of March councils were given two days notice to find accommodation for all rough sleepers to help them self-isolate safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
In May this paper asked Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council what would happen to the homeless when lockdown ends, now three months on we checked to see if the council had stuck to their word.
When asked if people who were initially housed back in March are still being housed, a spokeperson for the council said: “Some people continue to be housed in hotel accommodation, while work is being done to find suitable sustainable accommodation.
“We’ve successfully assisted over 20 individuals that were housed during the initial period of lockdown into longer term accommodation. Work continues to find accommodation that meets individual’s needs, and which takes into account any additional support needs.”
In total the council have used 11 different hotels, with numbers ranging from individual use at some hotels, to bookings of 30 at others.
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The numbers of individuals in hotel accommodation peaked at 40 in June, and since then there has been a gradual reduction as they find suitable outcomes.
A total of 83 households were accommodated over this period.
The total cost of this endeavour is still being determined and with several funding options open to the council which are being explored, but the council have said it is not currently possible to provide accurate information on the total cost.
At the time of writing, the total number of those initially housed that have secured stable settled accommodation through the assistance of the housing needs team is 21.
Although this figure does not include those that sourced their own accommodation without the council’s assistance, and anyone that was housed but their current status is not known (this happens when applications are withdrawn, or the council closes the case due to no contact).
The spokesperson for the council added: “We’ve made a commitment to continue helping everyone housed during lockdown to find a long-term housing solution.
“We are not aware of anyone sleeping rough since we provided accommodation.”
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