A COUNCIL has been keeping homeless people off of the street and in private accommodation amid the coronavirus crisis.

In 2017, Test Valley Borough Council made a pledge in 2017 that no-one should have to sleep rough in Test Valley.

As a result, the council has put significant funding in place to offer hotel, B&B or temporary accommodation to anyone that needs it.

Deputy leader, Councillor Nick Adams-King said: "In recent days the Government has instructed us to try and get everybody inside and to close all shared hostel-type facilities to reduce the potential for the coronavirus to spread.

"Thanks to the hard work of our housing team, we have managed to rehouse those in hostels into other types of accommodation and bring inside all but a few rough sleepers.

"Those of whom we are aware that are not inside have been offered but not accepted accommodation."

He added: "Homelessness was always a priority, it is really important to make sure people are safe and inside hostels accommodation.

"We have found accommodation where people can stay separate and the virus will not spread and we have taken them out of the hostels and put them in hotel rooms.

"With the exception of a one or two people who refuse help, who we are checking up on, we think we have every body who is rough sleeping in the borough."

Cllr Adams-King said if you see any body rough sleeping in the borough, you can report them using www.streetlink.org.uk

StreetLink automatically notifies the Council’s housing team, who can then arrange accommodation and services for the person as appropriate - it also provides a GPS location of where exactly they are staying.

He added: "I really hope that one of the positives that may come out of this is that the people who we’ve been struggling to get inside for some time but are now in accommodation because of coronavirus concerns, will stay there."