Evolve Housing + Support has written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, as well as all council leaders across London encouraging them to take up this action. We are also calling on all other supported housing organisations and homelessness charities across England to support this call. Please feel free to use the letter template below:
Dear Cllr [NAME],
We are supporting Evolve Housing + Support’s call for all councils to add the Covid-19 pandemic as an option people can select on homelessness referral forms.
We are requesting this small change following the government’s newly released figures on homelessness in England (January 2021) for the period July to September 2020, which revealed almost 70,000 households approached their local council and were found to be homeless or at risk of homelessness. The same data also discovered councils were only able to help one in five (20%) households at risk of homelessness to stay in their existing home. The three most common reasons were families and friends (33%), the loss of a private tenancy (13%) and domestic abuse (12%). The option to also select the pandemic doesn’t currently exist, despite it likely being the cause for the increase we see above.
The inclusion of a standardised Covid-19 pandemic option would provide local government and supported housing organisations with stronger data on the effects of the pandemic and how it has affected the living status of thousands of people. It would also give support workers vital information that they could use to create better informed support plans that specifically address a person’s individual needs.
I hope we can have your backing and I look forward to hearing from you.