The government has published a draft Terms of Reference for its Covid-19 inquiry, which has been set up to assess the UK’s preparedness for and response to the pandemic and to inform future national contingency planning.
We are pleased to see that housing and homelessness is included in the scope of the inquiry – this is something we called for in a joint letter with Shelter, Crisis, CIH, Women’s Aid, Porchlight and Refuge. The inquiry team invited us, along with representatives from other interested sectors, to attend an initial consultation meeting on 6 April to provide feedback on the draft terms of reference.
We plan to engage with the inquiry by both submitting our own response and encouraging our members to do the same. We are pleased that the inquiry will listen to the experiences of bereaved families and others who have suffered hardship or loss as a result of the pandemic. It is positive that the inquiry will also consider the experiences of and impact on health and care sector workers, and other key workers, during the pandemic. The inquiry will set out how people can share their experiences in a ‘less formal way’, so we hope supported and social housing tenants and care home residents and staff – as well as social housing providers – will be able to have their say.
We will inform members of next steps once we have a clearer sense of the inquiry’s timeframe.