Smart Policy
July 14, 2020
15:30 - 16:30 BST
Catriona Mackean
Emma Williams
Paul Atherton
Jon Sparkes

Pivoting policy to adapt to COVID-19

Inspiration and Aspiration

This session will provide our audience with valuable insight into the responses of governments across the UK to the impact of COVID-19 on those experiencing or facing homelessness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for policy makers across the world, requiring a significant shift towards short term crisis management responses to mitigate the impact of the health emergency on people without adequate housing and who are therefore least able to protect themselves.

This session will provide our audience with valuable insight into the responses of governments across the UK to the impact of COVID-19 on those experiencing or facing homelessness. A group of people at the heart of national policy development will talk about how they have pivoted their policy plans to account for the anticipated long term impact of the pandemic. They will also hear directly from Paul Atherton, one of the individuals who was homeless when the pandemic hit the UK and who was housed in emergency hotel accommodation for the duration of COVID19 Lockdown but is now uncertain about where he will go next.  

Panel members will be asked to share views on their government’s’ most pressing policy priorities in the coming months to ensure no one faces a return to the streets or to unsafe housing, and to minimise future levels of homelessness arising as a result of the crisis.

Catriona Mackean is a Policy Advisor for the Scottish Government Strategy Unit.

Emma Williams is Head of Housing Policy and Regulation at Welsh Government.

Paul Atherton is a campaigning film-maker, playwright and artist with living experience of homelessness.

Jon Sparkes is the CEO of Crisis.

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