The government have announced that it will be providing a further £10 million to house those experiencing rough sleeping and to ensure that they are registered with a GP to receive Covid vaccinations, in line with local vaccination plans.  

Six-month eviction notices still have to be issued to most tenants; however, evictions will now also be on hold until after 21st February 2021.

Court bailiffs will only be able to evict in the following circumstances:  

  • A build-up of at least six months' rent arrears
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Other circumstances: domestic abuse in the social sector,  tenancy by false statement, illegal occupation and unoccupied housing due to the death of a tenant.

akt welcomes the government's steps to ensure that those experiencing rough sleeping are not forgotten in the third national lockdown and the covid vaccination programme. 

However, these measures do not go far enough to address the challenges LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness face. There have been significant gaps in the support available for LGBTQ+ young people since the first national lockdown in March. Everyone In mostly helped entrenched rough sleepers who tend to be older, resulting in many young people not receiving the support they need. Moreover, the failure to monitor sexual orientation and gender identity in emergency accommodation made it challenging to understand young people's specific needs who may be LGBTQ+.  Fear of homophobic, transphobic, biphobic and racial abuse also prevented some young people from accessing emergency accommodation.

Data obtained by the Observer shows that between April- November 2020 over 200,000 households either approached their local council for help because of homelessness or the threat of homelessness[1]. We saw a 118% increase in new referrals from April-August last year and rough sleeping was five times as high in 2020 than it was in 2019. To continue to be there for LGBTQ+ young people, we recruited new caseworkers and helped young people with rental arrears.

The risks of rough sleeping and homelessness are the same as they were in the first national lockdown.  

Lockdown will still mean that for many LGBTQ+ young people, sofa surfing is not an option. The ban on evictions only protects against legal evictions, failing to consider LGBTQ+ young people who become homeless after leaving hostile and abusive living environments. Financial insecurity will also continue to impact young people, affecting their ability to pay their rent. Stop and search will likely be a practise that will continue to disproportionately impact young black male rough sleepers, and we know that COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of colour.  

Now is the time for bold and ambitious measures from the government. More robust protection for private renters preventing eviction due to rental arrears throughout the pandemic is essential. Emergency accommodation needs to be safe and accessible for LGBTQ+ young people, and further funding is necessary to provide this accommodation at the required scale. The new immigration rules surrounding the deportation of non-UK nationals experiencing rough sleeping have to be reconsidered, and the NRPF condition needs to be removed. LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness must also be prioritised for covid vaccinations. 

We call on the government to place a sharper focus on the needs of all groups who experience homelessness. This includes LGBTQ+ young people including those who are POC and the hidden homeless.   

If you're an LGBTQ+ young person who needs support with housing or homelessness, you're not alone. Please get in touch with us. 

Further information for young people:

By making a referral, akt can provide you with specialised support.  If you need quick and useful information, please refer to the  Citizens Advice Bureau webpage  and Shelter webpage which have up to date information on evictions and your housing rights during the pandemic.


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