95 rough sleepers in Crawley helped into housing during the pandemic

Crawley Borough Council has got 95 people off the streets and in a pathway to permanent housing since the start of the pandemic.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 10:52 am

The council was successful in assisting 56 people into private sector accommodation, four into social housing and 35 into supported accommodation pathways.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, councils were asked to bring ‘everyone in’ to minimise the risk to those rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.

This enabled the council to work with people who had historically failed to engage or have been otherwise difficult to contact.

Crawley Borough Council has got 95 people off the streets and in a pathway to permanent housing since the start of the pandemic. Picture by Peter Summers/Getty Images

The council made 196 discretionary temporary accommodation placements to people who wouldn’t usually be owed an accommodation duty by the council or wouldn’t previously engage with the council since March 2020.

The council also helped many other individuals return to their place of ‘connection’, facilitated access to residential rehabilitation, applied for settled status to remain in the UK and to access volunteering and employment opportunities.

Councillor Ian Irvine, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “The early stage of the pandemic put a huge strain on staff as they worked tirelessly to get vulnerable people off the streets.

“This great work makes me proud; it shows the care and compassion that council officers demonstrate on a daily basis.”

People experiencing homelessness, particularly those who are rough sleeping, are three times more likely to experience a chronic health condition.

As a result, people experiencing homelessness were identified as a vulnerable category given their inability to self-isolate and stay safe during the national lockdown.

As part of its Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2024, the council aims to halve the number of rough sleepers in Crawley from 40 in March 2019 to fewer than 20 in March 2022.

Since March 2019, the council has achieved an 80 per cent reduction with eight rough sleepers in October 2021.

All of these rough sleepers have received multiple offers of accommodation from the council and/or Crawley Open House but have either declined, been evicted from placements or abandoned their accommodation.

If you are aware of any rough sleepers who you think would benefit from support, please complete a Street Link referral.

If you have accommodation to rent and wish to work with the council, contact the Private Sector Housing Team at Crawley Borough Council.