Rough sleepers to have access to emergency accommodation whenever weather is 'severe'

Rough Sleepers will be able to access emergency accommodation whenever the weather is 'severe'.
Rough Sleepers will be able to access emergency accommodation whenever the weather is 'severe'.

Rough sleepers in the Warwick District will now be able to access emergency accommodation whenever the weather is ‘severe’.

Previously Warwick District Council’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) meant rough sleepers would only be provided accommodation when the weather fell below zero degrees for three consecutive nights.

Last year the council adapted the protocol to provide emergency accommodation every night the temperature fell below zero degrees.

The council said that over last year there were 31 cases of SWEP being activated and with 16 of these were covered by night shelters. The remaining night saw the council provide temporary accommodation for 101 nights.

According to the council, shelters were not available every night last year so they provided guest house accommodation but now they are able to use the hostel at William Wallsgrove House, which is available every night for rough sleepers.

Moving forward, councillors agreed at last week’s Executive meeting (April 3) to make their SWEP conditions more flexible meaning rough sleepers will receive accommodation whenever it is deemed to be severe weather such as ‘heavy rain, snow, high winds or similar extenuating factors’.

In the documents it said: “So the temperature maybe above zero, at between one and three degrees centigrade but conditions are such that the Housing Services team consider conditions on the street to be severe. This flexibility allows our staff the ability to react to conditions on the ground.”