The Government has insisted the Everyone In programme is ‘continuing’ despite reportedly suggesting to some councils that they should close their hotels for rough sleepers.
A letter by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to 281 councils that have received money under the rough sleeping initiative for 2021-22 said one of the ‘funding principles’ was that they should close their hotels by the end of June this year.
The letter read: ‘Reduce the number of people accommodated in hotels and other emergency accommodation.
'Local move on plans should end the use of hotels and other emergency accommodation by the end of Q1, unless otherwise agreed with MHCLG.’
Co-head of casework at homeless charity Glass Door, Neil Parkinson, warned that the closure of Everyone In would mean ‘some of the most vulnerable people in society will be returning to sleeping in doorways and on night buses’.
Rick Henderson, chief executive officer at Homeless Link, the national membership body for frontline homeless charities, added: ‘A small number of councils have committed to accommodate people indefinitely, but pandemic-specific funding will dry up in the near future.
'Without it very few local authorities have the finances to continue to house people in emergency accommodation.
‘There is a clear chance now to build on the partnership and unconditional ethos of Everyone In, but local authorities need clear guidance and the necessary funding from government to support people still in hotels into more sustainable housing.’
However, a Whitehall source insisted there was ‘no set date’ for the end of Everyone In, adding: ‘The policy is continuing.
'I don’t know if it will end.’
An MHCLG statement read: ‘We’ve been clear with councils and partners that everyone helped into accommodation must be offered the tailored support they need to move forwards and that no one should find themselves back on the street without this.’
An MHCLG spokesperson insisted it had not told councils to close the hotels they were using to accommodate rough sleepers.