Personal protective equipment is a basic health and safety issue. The fact that frontline health workers are having to use bin bags to protect their lives is shameful and wrong. Homerton Hospital had to use science goggles from local schools and local sewers are making scrubs. St Joseph’s Hospice had to put out an emergency call for supplies and local dentists are struggling. This is completely unacceptable. Clearly, more needs to be done to protect NHS workers on the front line.
I continue to press the Government to help homeless families in severely overcrowded accommodation and hostel rooms.
A housing market package to buy up unsold homes is a tried and tested model that will help find homes for the homeless.
A number of Hackney residents have been stranded overseas because of the grounding of flights due of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where flights have been available they have been at hugely inflated costs - beyond the reach of most people.
I have been working closely with the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry as well as the Foreign Office directly.
Emily met the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, on Thursday 26 March and she pressed him on this issue and the complex individual situations.
The coronavirus pandemic means people are losing their jobs but some are banned from accessing public money, like Universal Credit.
I’ve written to the Home Secretary asking for a clear commitment and today Diane Abbott also raised this issue. People need reassurance now.
I know too many families struggle living in severely overcrowded accommodation. Already children are forced to share beds with parents and some vulnerable families are crammed into single flats with other families. Many live in a single-room hostels. The closure of schools, self-isolation, and family quarantine will make an already unbearable situation impossible.
We can do better than this. Other European countries have stepped up to the challenge – Norway is supporting freelancers/self-employed workers by providing 80% of their average salary over the last 3 years.
The Government needs to announce a proper plan.
Self-isolation for families in overcrowded accommodation and single-room hostels is hard.
We need a better solution than this – what about empty new build homes being provided for people in desperate need?
It’s a worrying time but we can help each other by not panic buying. There are families in Hackney who can’t afford a weekly shop let alone stockpiling.
For further info and advice on coronavirus see: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
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