Manchester and Liverpool rough sleepers to be housed in hotels during coronavirus outbreak

Rough sleepers in Manchester and Liverpool are set to be provided with accommodation during the coronavirus outbreak.

Leaders in both cities announced plans on Wednesday to provide rooms for homeless people.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (pictured) said: “A package has been released today of £5 million that will pay for 1,000 rooms across Greater Manchester accommodating people who are in need of support.

“We currently have 625 rooms allocated and we have 375 that will be procured in the next 48 hours.”

He said 180 rough sleepers and 720 people in shared accommodation have been identified and they will also be provided with welfare packages of food and hygiene products.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said the council is working with hotels to house the homeless.

Speaking on BBC Radio Merseyside, Mr Anderson said: “Hopefully by this evening, but certainly tomorrow, we’ll have contracted with a number of hotels to put up the homeless and the rough sleepers into accommodation where they’ll get that continuous support.”

Mr Burnham said homeless people have been identified as a group at high risk of infection.

He added: “I hope this can be a permanent route away from the streets for many of the people who will benefit.”

He thanked hotels helping with the scheme but said there had been an incident with the Britannia Hotel where people had been evicted with nowhere to go, despite an agreement with Manchester City Council.

Beds in central London hotels were offered to rough sleepers at the weekend to protect them against coronavirus as part of a trial scheme.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office worked with Intercontinental Hotels Group to block book rooms, at a discounted rate, for 12 weeks.

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