The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today activated the pan-London Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) for the first time this winter to protect homeless people as temperatures are forecast to fall below 0°C this weekend.
The activation of SWEP compels councils across London (alongside homelessness charities) to open emergency accommodation for people who are sleeping rough during weather conditions that could pose a threat to life.
To avoid the risk of Covid infections, the Mayor has asked boroughs that only single-occupancy accommodation such as hotel rooms be used for SWEP provision this year.
All London councils have also committed to implementing the Mayor’s ‘In for Good’ principle, meaning that once someone has accessed SWEP accommodation, they are accommodated until a support plan is in place to end their rough sleeping – regardless of whether the temperature has risen above freezing.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Once again far too many people are facing the first cold snap of the winter on the streets of the capital, without the safe, secure accommodation that should be the basic right of every Londoner.
“Across London, we will do everything we can to protect rough sleepers in these freezing conditions. I know London’s councils and charities will also be working tirelessly over the weekend to help the most vulnerable amongst us and I thank them for their efforts.”