Responding to news that £53m will be provided for support services to help rough sleepers in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said: “COVID-19 forced the Government to take urgent action to end rough sleeping. I welcome these efforts, but that action should have been taken years ago, as the Liberal Democrats have long-called for. Now we must seize the opportunity to ensure that we never return to the status quo and end rough sleeping for good.
“The Government must urgently pass legislation to scrap the Dickensian Vagrancy Act, which unfairly penalises people for sleeping rough. Instead we need to support people in finding secure accommodation. The additional funding announced will help, but we need to ensure it is sufficient for the long term.
“Ministers must also make sure local authorities can be confident that they will have access to the resources they need to provide safe, secure accommodation for all those at risk of sleeping rough into the long term, not just through the current crisis. This must include ongoing support for those in emergency accommodation.”