English rough sleeping numbers soar
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Thames Reach to help migrant rough sleepers return home
Rough sleeping has soared by 37% in England in the last three years, official statistics have revealed.
The Department for Communities and Local Government's shocking figures show a 5% rise on last year, with 2,414 people reported by councils as sleeping rough on any one night in 2013, up from 2,309 in 2012 and from 1,768 in 2010.
And research published by homelessness charity Crisis shows that a chronic shortage of affordable housing combined with cuts to housing benefit and homelessness services will see rough sleeping continue to rise across the country.
Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, said: “This continued rise in rough sleeping is unacceptable – behind these statistics are more and more real lives being devastated by the traumatic experience of homelessness. The government must take real steps to address the chronic lack of affordable housing and urgently consider the impact its cuts are having, particularly to housing benefit and local homelessness services.”
The steepest regional rises were seen in the East Midlands and the South East, areas particularly affected by high housing costs and cuts to local services:
• In the East Midlands, 206 people were reported sleeping rough, a 50% rise on last year, including increases of 96% in Derby and 80% in Northampton.
• In the South East, 532 people were reported sleeping rough, a 20% rise on last year, including increases of 275% in Slough and a 58% in Oxford.
Other cities and regions showing significant rises were Bristol, Stoke-On-Trent, Coventry and Cornwall, many of which have seen deep cuts to local homelessness services.