Almost 1,000 new homes will help permanently house rough sleepers living in hotels across the capital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Homeless Londoners who were sleeping on the streets or staying in hostels with dormitories or shared bathrooms were moved to hotels during lockdown to protect them from the virus.

Their long term future had remained uncertain, with charities fearing there would be no permanent housing after the crisis.

But now a £67 million investment from Government will help the Mayor of London provide 900 extra homes for former rough sleepers at affordable rent.

The funding comes from a £433 million national programme to build or buy more housing for homeless people.

The first £160 million will pay for homes that can be ready within the current financial year, by the end of March – and Sadiq Khan has secured more than 40 per cent of that cash for London.

The Mayor welcomed the Government support as “a big step forward” in the push to end homelessness, and praised the “extraordinary effort” to house rough sleepers during the pandemic.

“This work will be wasted if we don’t have suitable accommodation for people to move into for the long-term,” he said.

But Mr Khan warned ministers would need to go further, with better protection for renters and homeless people from other countries who can’t access public funds, if they are to end rough sleeping for good.

St Mungo’s chief executive Steve Douglas – who leads the homelessness charity, a major player in housing rough sleepers in the capital – said the effort during coronavirus has been “tremendous”.

“We’ve seen how life-saving, and for some, life-changing that has been,” he said.

“We must use this opportunity to help people rebuild their lives away from the street for good.”

Rough Sleeping Minister Luke Hall agreed that getting homeless people into hotels during the pandemic was “an unprecedented opportunity” to make long term change.

The new funding will help the 15,000 people housed by local authorities across the country “rebuild their lives with a safe place to call home,” he said