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Extra winter accommodation for rough sleepers in York

Published Friday, 15 October 2021

Additional COVID-safe winter beds will be available for people sleeping rough and for single homeless people in York from 1 November, as numbers of rough sleepers in the city remain low.

The additional safe and warm winter accommodation is already in place. There will be 27 beds set up as part of York’s successful ‘Everybody In’ response and, this winter, additional beds from a variety of sources can be used if needed.

The organisations which support City of York Council with early help and homelessness prevention will continue to keep numbers of people sleeping rough low whatever the extra challenges cold weather brings.

People are triaged according to their level of need. They are then placed appropriately, with those individuals with more complex needs prioritised into accommodation where skilled staff are available to support them. Support into a stable, safer life is always offered to anyone sleeping rough and to everyone who takes a bed.

The council’s work to give early help and prevention support for people at risk of losing their home has increased this year. The Housing Options team have seen requests rising from 80 per week pre-pandemic to around 200 per week in September 2021, with a greater call on mediation, landlord liaison and support to find private accommodation.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities, said:

This reliable supply of additional emergency accommodation will help us meet demand and ensure health and wellbeing requirements are in place. The response to the pandemic, the ‘Everyone In’ initiative and additional resources to combat rough sleeping over the last few years, demonstrate the continued commitment of the council and its partners to end rough sleeping.

“We take a phased and responsive approach to making these extra winter beds available to ensure that no-one is returned to the streets or made homeless just because the winter is over. The service continues to work on expanding long term provision to support the shared goal of ending rough sleeping.”

The full report will be discussed at Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee on 19 October at 5:30pm.