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How excellent, the rough sleeping problem is solved

Summary:
The rough sleeping problem was largely solved during the lockdown by putting all those sleeping on the streets into the empty rooms of closed hotels. Now that everything is opening up again a different solution is required:An extra £85m has been announced by the Treasury to provide emergency accommodation for 5,400 rough sleepers who have been placed in hotels in England for the duration of the pandemic, avoiding them having to return to the streets when the hotels reopen to the public this summer. The extra money will allow councils to rehouse rough sleepers in student accommodation and to find alternative spaces elsewhere until more permanent housing is found.Dame Louise Casey, the chair of the Covid-19 rough sleeping taskforce, said she was extremely relieved the extra money had been

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The rough sleeping problem was largely solved during the lockdown by putting all those sleeping on the streets into the empty rooms of closed hotels. Now that everything is opening up again a different solution is required:

An extra £85m has been announced by the Treasury to provide emergency accommodation for 5,400 rough sleepers who have been placed in hotels in England for the duration of the pandemic, avoiding them having to return to the streets when the hotels reopen to the public this summer.

The extra money will allow councils to rehouse rough sleepers in student accommodation and to find alternative spaces elsewhere until more permanent housing is found.

Dame Louise Casey, the chair of the Covid-19 rough sleeping taskforce, said she was extremely relieved the extra money had been allocated, allowing charities and councils longer to work to find long-term housing for those rough sleepers who have been staying in Ibis, Holiday Inn and Travelodge hotels at the government’s expense since the end of March.

“This will make sure that local authorities and others don’t have to put people back out on the street. I think it would be, frankly, inhuman – because we’ve given people a taste of life off the street and a taste of life where you get your health looked after. The last think we want is for anyone to go back,” she said. The funding meant she could “guarantee” that nobody would have to leave to return to a life on the streets.

Securing the funding had “taken a little bit longer than I would have liked”, Casey said. “But now we can assure people that nobody goes back.”

How excellent, well, that’s another problem we can tick off the list as being entirely and completely solved then.

Super. All the dirges about how appalling a society we are because someone sleeps in a cardboard box are now historical.

Except:

although inevitably some people might make a choice to return to rough sleeping.

This being the point we’ve been making for years now about rough sleeping. It’s not actually a housing problem in the first place. Therefore it’s not one solved by the provision of housing. It is a problem about significant mental illness and varied addiction problems meaning the solutions have to be about those, not housing. Not that this will stop the dirges.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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