Shelter responds to new government figures on rough sleeping


These numbers are snapshot counts and estimates but the most accurate we have to work with to inform local and national action.

The figures were compiled by counting the number of people sleeping outside and do not take into account squatters or those in hostels.

And it's no longer confined to London and the big cities.

"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".

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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.

According to the figures released on Thursday (January 25), a total of three people were sleeping rough in Hastings during autumn 2010 meaning there has been an increased rate of 1,233 per cent in seven years. He continued: "The number of people sleeping rough fell under Labour but has more than doubled since 2010, and is up for the eighth year in a row under the Tories".

'Until the Government commits to the funding needed to prevent homelessness and builds more genuinely affordable homes, and invests properly in mental health care, the number of rough sleepers will continue to rise at a shocking pace'. This is an increase of 18 per cent from the 2016 figure of 964. 48% of this increase was due to increases reported by eight local authorities, including five with an Emmaus community in their area: Brighton and Hove, Medway, Oxford, Tameside (Mossley) and Salford. Heather Wheeler, the new Minister for Housing and Homelessness needs to bring government departments together to find solutions to end the scandal of rough sleeping and homelessness. However, in London, this figure stood at 40%, compared with 14% in the rest of England.

Asked why more people are sleeping rough, Mr Quagliozzi answered: "We've a flawless storm over the last few years where rising rents - particularly in the private rental sector, wages not going up as fast of those rents and welfare reform are contributing to a very bleak picture". The report is, as a result, only an indication of the actual numbers of people sleeping rough each year.