Homes and property COVID-19: Homelessness advice

Last updated 2.47pm, Monday 04 January 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation the likes of which we have never experienced before. We continue to do everything in our power to ensure the most vulnerable people in society are not forgotten. The homeless population is one of the most at-risk communities at any given time, let alone during a public health emergency.

Homeless Services have changed and adapted to ensure they are safe and minimise the risk for both staff and individuals.

Customer Service Centre

For the safety of staff and the public the Customer Service Centre in the Town Hall Extension remains closed.

Help is available for people who feel they might be at risk of homelessness - if you need support please check the online advice first, and only contact us by phone if you really need to. This will help staff deal with emergency cases as quickly as possible. 

The phone number is 0161 234 4692

You can also email the service at hss@manchester.gov.uk

Private rented sector tenants

The Government has taken further action in relation to private rented tenants. The key measures are:

  • Emergency legislation has increased notice periods to six months until at least the end of March 2021. The only exceptions to this are the most serious cases such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and serious rent arrears of more than six months’ rent. 
  • Evictions will not be enforced in local lockdown areas and there will be a pause on the enforcement of evictions in England and Wales in the run up to and over Christmas except in the most serious circumstances such as anti- social behaviour and domestic abuse (11 December 2020 to 11 January 2021). 

If your landlord issues you with a notice, you are getting into rent arrears or you have other concerns about your tenancy, you should check our online advice and seek guidance as soon as possible. 

People who sleep rough

People who are sleeping rough are at particular risk from the spread and impact of Covid-19, particularly if they have underlying health issues, and we have put special measures in place to ensure they have the opportunity to socially isolate.

The Outreach Team continues to work with people sleeping rough, along with support from the Manchester Homeless Partnership. 

In addition, we are providing additional accommodation to people who are sleeping rough in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Temporary accommodation

We would urge anyone who has been provided accommodation at this time to strictly follow the Government and Public Health England’s advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Please follow the rules of 'hands, face, space' - stay in your accommodation, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when you need to a keep at least 6ft away from other people where possible. 

In order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, we have purchased a large amount of hand sanitiser that has been distributed across our network of supported accommodation. Staff across this network continue to follow hygienic practice and regular handwashing. Sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is also supplied regularly.

We understand that concerns have been raised about the risk posed due to high numbers of people living and working in proximity to one another in temporary accommodation. We are ensuring that staff and residents are aware of the most up to date health and safety advice to minimise risk. 

Street Kitchens 

The frequency of street kitchens has decreased as the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated. However, there are some, which continue to operate in spite of Council guidance highlighting the risks. For the groups that are remaining, we have provided advice on social distancing and good hygiene to minimise risk posed to volunteers and people attending kitchens for support. 

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