Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Rough sleeping in England up by almost a quarter

The number of rough sleepers in England has risen by almost a quarter, according to the latest figures.

The Communities and Local Government department has today released its Rough Sleeping Statistics England paper which says that there were 2,181 people on the streets in autumn 2011.

The figure is a rise of 23 per cent from the autumn 2010 total, which said there were 1,768 rough sleepers in England.

The paper is the second annual statistical release following the introduction of revised guidance. Rough sleeping counts and estimates are single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough in local authority areas.

All 326 local housing authorities in England provided a figure with 53 councils providing a count and 273 an estimate.

London, the South East and the South West had the highest number of rough sleepers with 446, 430 and 337 respectively. The North East had the lowest number with 32.

Previous data from homelessness charity Broadway Combined Homelessness and Information Network shows that in 2010/11 there were 3,975 people seen sleeping rough in London - 8 per cent up on the previous year.

The data in CHAIN shows that of the 3,975 rough sleepers recorded, 52 per cent did not have UK nationality. Inside Housing reported in January on plans by eastern European embassies to support nationals sleeping rough in London to return home.

Today Grant Shapps, the housing minister, warned that people coming to the UK should make provisions to preventy them falling on tough times.

He said: ‘Non UK residents now account for over half the rough sleepers in our capital, so anyone heading here with tales of Dick Whittington in their head needs to realise that the streets of London and our other cities aren’t paved with gold. 

‘Those arriving from beyond our shores to try and carve out a future in England should come with a thought-through plan to avoid the risk of sleeping on the streets.’

The housing minister also pledged £18.5 million for councils to help tackle and prevent rough sleeping among single people, ensuring that nobody is turned away without clear and useful advice when they are most in need.

 Total of rough sleeping counts and estimates, by region, Autumn 2011

RegionTotalPercentage of England totalRate per 1,000 households
North East321.50.03
North West1496.80.05
Yorkshire and the Humber1506.90.07
East Midlands1888.60.10
West Midlands2079.50.09
East of England24211.10.10
London44620.40.13
South East43019.70.12
South West33715.50.15
England2,181100.00.10

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