Council books seven hotels and guest houses for homeless
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Seven hotels and guest houses have been hired by Fenland District Council to provide emergency housing for homeless people during the pandemic.
The council confirmed that four of the hotels and guest houses are in Fenland – two are in Peterborough and the seventh in Spalding.
Of those in Fenland three are in Wisbech – including the Rose and Crown hotel- and one in March.
The council declined to provide names of those hotels and guests houses they have procured.
“Of the seven establishments, three were commissioned to support our Covid-19 response in line with the Government’s national ‘Everyone In’ directive,” said a council spokesperson.
“This was to protect rough sleepers from the virus, using emergency procurement powers.
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“The Government actively encourages local authorities to use these powers during the ongoing restrictions.
“We, like many other authorities across the country, have followed their guidance to ensure we can get rough sleepers off the streets and into safe accommodation.”
The spokesperson said the temporary accommodation also enables rough sleepers to continue to access the support they need during the pandemic.
This includes access to food and healthcare “and has helped some move into longer-term accommodation”, said the spokesperson.
Fenland Council says it is always open to enquiries from accommodation providers to help deliver temporary accommodation services for “homeless and rough sleeper clients”.
The spokesperson said: “Ideally this provision would be available in and around the district of Fenland.
“Enquiries can be emailed to our procurement team at email@example.com “
The council said it would not be able to provide a list of those hotels being used as temporary accommodation for the homeless in Wisbech.
It also declined to set out the criteria being used to use these hotels and precise details of the procurement process.
The spokesperson could not say how the list of current providers was arrived at.
Last month council said that since the Covid-19 pandemic began “we have prevented 158 households from becoming homeless in Fenland”.
A council statement said: “We have been able to help rough sleepers by providing free food, mobile phones and accommodation and support to 57 individuals (including our night shelter clients when the night shelter was forced to close because of national Covid-19 guidance).
“There are now 28 former rough sleepers accommodated in bed and breakfast accommodation, with the rest rehoused”.
But the statement added: “We are aware of some suggestions that rough sleeper numbers are rising due to evictions”.
If you or someone you know is at risk of homelessness or sleeping rough, Fenland District Council as soon as possible on 01354 654321.