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Rough sleepers - severe weather emergency protocol

Current SWEP status

The severe weather emergency protocol is currently INACTIVE (from Tuesday 5th February 2019).

What is SWEP?

We have a severe weather emergency protocol, which is designed to get rough sleepers off the streets during severe weather by providing emergency temporary accommodation. Our protocol was designed in line with government guidance.

When is the SWEP activated?

The protocol is activated when the predicted night time temperature is likely to be zero degrees Celsius or less for three consecutive nights.

When the protocol is activated, anyone who is rough sleeping can contact us to access emergency accommodation whilst the protocol is active, regardless of their eligibility under homelessness legislation.

Our housing options team checks the predicted temperatures on a regular basis at BBC weather, and updates this page when the SWEP is activated. We also notify all organisations and individuals who may come across rough sleepers during the course of their daily activities.

When is the SWEP deactivated?

Once the temperature is predicted to be above zero degrees or is below zero degrees for fewer than three consecutive nights, the SWEP is deactivated and the entitlement to temporary accommodation will end. 

How to help someone who is sleeping rough 

If you are sleeping rough, or know of someone who is sleeping rough, and need help to get into temporary accommodation whilst the SWEP is active, call our housing options team on 01543 308703/308709/308711 or outside of office hours call 01543 574480.

More details

For further information about the severe weather emergency protocol, please contact the housing options team at

Help and advice

Rough sleepers and people who are homeless can get help and support on finding permanent housing in our homelessness section

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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.