Coronavirus: Manx homeless to pay £200 a week for Covid-19 hotel scheme – BBC News

Homeless people on the Isle of Man will be charged almost £200 a week to stay in hotels during the pandemic.

Twenty-one people of no fixed abode have been identified including some “sleeping rough and in cars,” Chief Minister Howard Quayle said.

Without proper accommodation, homeless people faced “a significant health risk” from the virus, he added.

A weekly charge of £192.25 will be levied or deducted from benefits for those on financial support.

Under the scheme, rooms at the Sefton Express in Ballasalla and Athol House in Douglas will be used for a 12-week period to accommodate those in need who will be offered three meals a day.

Anyone without an income but not yet receiving financial support would be helped to “get on the system”.

The government would “not turn a genuine person away”, Mr Quayle told Tynwald.

‘Chaotic lives’

Although some overnight accommodation was available at homeless charity Graih’s emergency night shelter, its daytime drop-in centre had been closed.

Mr Quayle said the lack of daytime accommodation “potentially represents a significant risk” to those who are homeless and the wider community.

“These people, many of whom have chaotic lives, could inadvertently spread Covid-19 through visiting or staying at a number of addresses,” he added.

The scheme would prevent people from “being on the streets during the day” and allow individuals to self-isolate if necessary.

Lawrie Hooper MHK said the need for the scheme was “a clear demonstration of where our current approach to housing on the Isle of Man is not fit for purpose”.

“It is somewhat appalling that we have to rely on making emergency powers to make sure people can have a roof over their heads,” he added.

The scheme was unanimously backed by Tywnald members.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *