London’s homeless offered hotel beds to self-isolate

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, with support from the government, has secured 300 hotel rooms for those sleeping rough in London, enabling them to self-isolate over the coming weeks

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, with support from the government, has secured 300 hotel rooms for those sleeping rough in London, enabling them to self-isolate over the coming weeks.

The mayor’s team has worked with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) to block-book the rooms in two London hotels for the next 12 weeks.

As part of a trial period over the weekend, rough sleepers already known to the homelessness charities were moved to the rooms.

City Hall is continuing to work with a range of partners, including London’s boroughs and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to identify others sleeping rough and give them the support they need. 

The team is also working with black cab drivers, via hailing apps FreeNow and Gett, who have volunteered to help transport people between support services.

The rooms are being provided at a substantially discounted rate. Work with IHG and other hotel operators will continue to see if further block-bookings will be possible as and when they are needed.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The coronavirus outbreak affects everyone in London and we must do all we can to safeguard everyone’s health – not least those Londoners who face spending each night sleeping rough on the capital’s streets.

“My heartfelt thanks go to InterContinental Hotels Group for stepping up and playing their part in helping protect rough sleepers during this difficult period."

“We are also very grateful to the black cab drivers from FreeNow and Gett who have offered to transport rough sleepers to these rooms, helping them to avoid using public transport."

Managing director, UK&I for InterContinental Hotels Group – owners of the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza brands, Karan Khanna, said: “The current situation is unprecedented and people’s health and wellbeing must be the top priority. We are pleased to be working closely with the Mayor’s office and GLA to use our hotels to contribute to the recovery effort in London.”