'Number of homeless people in England hits highest level'

Jan 27, 2018, 16:46
'Number of homeless people in England hits highest level'

Responding to the figures chief executive of Shelter Polly Neate, said: "These figures expose the worst pain inflicted by our housing crisis".

A MHCLG spokesman said: "No one should ever have to sleep rough; that's why this Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027".

Reporting on the shocking new figures 0n rough sleeping published Thursday, the BBC noted that the phenomenon "is no longer confined to London and the big cities ... and rough sleepers have been appearing in tents and shop doorways in towns where it seems unexpected and out of place".

"Something drastic has to change if we are to stop this epidemic of homelessness, strengthening the safety net and stopping people ending up in a vulnerable housing situation in the first place".

The figure has risen 15-per-cent since the same time in 2016, and is significantly higher than the 2,744 figure recorded in 2014.

The rise to autumn 2017 is the seventh consecutive increase in rough sleeping, with the number of people affected having more than doubled since comparative records began in 2010.

The details are passed on to outreach teams, funded by charities like St Mungo's, that go out to make contact with the rough sleeper. This is an increase of 18% from the 2016 figure of 964.

Elsewhere in Greater Manchester, rough sleeping counts have also increased, with Tameside recording 43 rough sleepers, compared to 19 the previous year; Bolton 17 compared to eight previously, Bury 10 compared to three previously and Manchester recording 94 compared to 78 the previous year.

There were 3,614 rough sleepers outside the capital, an increase of 14% over the year, and nearly half this increase was accounted for by only eight local authority areas: Brighton & Hove, Medway, Southend-on-Sea, Oxford, Tameside, Worthing, Salford and Eastbourne.

In the north-east of England, there was a 13% rise in rough sleeping from 45 in 2016 to 51 people past year and a 39% rise in the north-west, from 313 to 434.

- 14% of people sleeping rough were women and 8% were aged under 25. "While we warmly welcome the Government's pledges to tackle rough sleeping, including a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Taskforce, now that we know the solutions to end rough sleeping for good we're calling on the Government to take swift action to tackle the problem and fix it once and for all". The Government describes them as "single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough".