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Homeless crisis looms as government pandemic support ends

2nd September 2021
Posted by Aston Avery

You need the internet to get your most basic needs met these days, in many cases those who need it the most have the hardest time getting access to it. And with figures suggesting thousands of people are facing the bleak reality of homelessness in the coming months – a digital connection is crucial to providing access to essential help and services for those most at risk.

Thousands more people could be facing homelessness in the coming months as the government ends the furlough scheme, the Universal Credit uplift, and the renter’s evictions ban – according to new research by Tesco Mobile and Crisis. The research also reveals that 94% of local authorities in England expect to see an increase in homelessness as a result.

For many of us, coming out of lockdown represents a crisis finally easing. But, as the impact of the pandemic unravels and government support winds down, many families and individuals face a frightening reality. The research shows two-fifths (40%) are uncertain about the future once the current government support is taken away and almost half (45%) of those who received government support during the pandemic believe they will struggle financially.

Crisis and Tesco Mobile are working together to raise awareness of how digital connection can be a lifeline for those at risk of, or experiencing, the many forms of hidden homelessness and in closing the digital divide. A QR code has also been created to help highlight the need for digital connection in the post-pandemic world, as research revealed that 38% of people have needed to use a QR code to access the NHS Trace and Trace app and 30% to order food and drink.

Aston spoke to Jon Sparkes, CEO at Crisis.