HOMELESS charities are concerned that some individuals will be forced back onto the streets after the lockdown measures are released - and hope that the coronavirus crisis can be used as an opportunity to eradicate rough sleeping across the city.

The youth homeless charity, SASH, has told The Press that it ‘anticipates an influx of young people needing its night stop service post-lockdown’ after receiving calls from individuals who will be evicted by private landlords.

In March, councils were given £3.2m to provide emergency shelter for homeless people, with many housed in hotels - but yesterday ministers confirmed that the Government has decided not to allocate any more funding to the programme.

A spokesperson for SASH said: “Right now there are young people in our community living in unstable family circumstances, surrounded by abuse – all they have to look forward to once lockdown is lifted, is the dread of being kicked out of their homes or making the impossible decision to flee a toxic environment. We want these young people to know there is hope.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the charity Changing Lives said: “We hope that if anything the crisis can be used as an opportunity to eradicate rough sleeping across York, with people being able to move from temporary accommodation (such as hotels) into more secure housing long-term.

“What we’ve seen during the coronavirus crisis is that the impact of the outbreak and of lockdown is affecting the people we support the hardest. It would be great if this continues whenever we reach a ‘new normal’.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said the council is currently housing 35 households through the pandemic - and are seeking to find them permanent housing post lockdown.

She said: “We are providing accommodation for all homeless households and individuals in the city now and will continue to do so beyond this emergency.

“In addition to using our own and partners’ hostel accommodation, we are supporting around 35 homeless households in self-contained bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation offered to us during the emergency.

“We’re prioritising our work to prepare empty council homes ready to re-let and are finding private rented accommodation harder to come by at the moment.

“We plan to continue working with hotels and B&Bs for the duration of the lockdown to keep people safely accommodated and we are working on plans to ensure that as we move out of lockdown everyone will have accommodation options.

"We’re working with landlords in the city to support tenants and minimise evictions."

"We’ve seen a slight rise in single people asking our preventative services for help which may be because they usually live with friends or family who now need to self isolate.

"We are continuing with our services for people who are concerned about becoming homeless and need our advice to help prevent homelessness.

“Rough Sleeper services are operating in the usual way. For a bed, please go to 63, Lawrence Street or call 01904 416562 or at evenings or weekends please call 01609 780780."