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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Letting down rough sleepers in England

The Mirror reports that Housing Minister Eddie Hughes has admitted millions of pounds intended to help rough sleepers stay safe during the winter in England has gone unspent.

The paper says that the Housing department manages the £10m Cold Weather Fund and the £15m Protect Programme, which supports efforts to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the pandemic, but with winter drawing to a close around £4 million between the two funds is still unallocated.

The Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) spokesperson argues that it is "wrong and misleading" to say the money had gone unspent as the £15m Protect Programme and £10m Cold Weather Fund were allocated based on bids from councils, which took into account their local needs and ensured value for money.”

The question therefore is, how so many people were still sleeping rough during the pandemic and why there was not better coordination between the UK Government and English local authorities to prevent this happening?

I can only hope Wales did better.
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