Oxford City Council has secured hotel rooms for rough sleepers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
The City Council announced that it had secured 40 hotel rooms that will be available for people experiencing rough sleeping or living in shared hostel spaces.
The council is working closely with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and expects to secure the use of a further 42 rooms early next week. It has also reached an agreement for a further nine self-contained rooms for use as an isolation unit for people with coronavirus.
With 21 hotel rooms already occupied, this means the council will comply with MHCLG guidance and exceed its aim of providing up to 100 hotel rooms for people sleeping on the streets and in communal hostel spaces.
During the coronavirus emergency the council has been working with Public Health England, Thames Valley Police, Turning Point, St Mungo’s outreach, supported housing and day service providers to help ensure the safety of homeless people. Today’s 40 rooms mean that people can transfer from communal spaces in Floyds Row and the sit-up (assessment) service at O’Hanlon House. They will also allow others to be accommodated directly from the streets.
Councillor Linda Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure and housing said “Nobody should have to sleep rough in Oxford and we have been working closely with our partners and the government to protect some of Oxford’s most vulnerable people from the coronavirus emergency.
"We’ve secured 40 more hotel rooms tonight and another 51 self-contained rooms will be available from early next week. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked against the clock to achieve this result and to continue to support homeless people in such challenging circumstances.”