Rough sleeping in England up by almost a quarter

By agency reporter
24 Feb 2012

The latest government statistics show a rise of 23 per cent in street homelessness in England, between autumn 2010 and autumn 2011.

The Rough Sleeping Statistics report, which includes figures from all 326 local housing authorities in England, shows:

* a rise in the number of people sleeping rough, from 1,768 in autumn 2010 to 2,181 in autumn 2011 – an increase of 23 per cent
* London, the south east and the south west have the highest levels of street homelessness, while the north east has the lowest.

The figures are based on counts - or estimates - provided by each local authority.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing and homelessnes charity Shelter, said: "As a nation we should be ashamed of today’s figures showing a 23 per cent rise in rough sleeping.

"These figures are just the tip of the homelessness iceberg, with many more people hidden from view and moving from sofa to sofa in desperate need of a home to call their own.

"And tens of thousands of children are growing up in temporary accommodation, including hostels and bed and breakfasts, deprived of a decent start in life."

He concluded, "The only way Government can tackle this national scandal is with bold, urgent action to address the long-term causes of homelessness, alongside efforts to get people off the streets.’

[Ekk/4]

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