Sharp rise in numbers of rough sleepers in England

The number of people sleeping rough in England reached a recorded high of 4,751 in the autumn of last year new data reveals today- with almost a quarter in London alone

The number of people sleeping rough in England reached a recorded high of 4,751 in the autumn of last year new data reveals today- with almost a quarter in London alone

While the manifesto commitment from the government on rough sleeping and the initial steps taken to achieve the target is welcome, the latest figures serve as a stark reminder of the need for urgency.

The worst-hit authority was Westminster, where 217 people were found to be living outside of a home, although the number had dropped by 17% from 260.

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". This includes the use of Housing First, a programme which gives the most vulnerable rough sleepers their own home and specialist support.

"Another big problem is people getting into rent arrears due to Universal Credit, causing misery across our city" she added "There needs to be money put into a 24 hour hub for homeless people to go for support, and a night shelter". This is an increase of 18% from the 2016 figure of 964.

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In comparison, another London borough, Camden, had seen more than 600% increase, with over 100 more people sleeping rough than in 2016. London represented almost a quarter (24 per cent) of all rough sleepers in England, at 1,140 on any given night - up from 23 per cent the previous year.

Of the 4,751 people across the country who were counted as rough sleepers, the majority were male (86%), while 16% were European Union nationals from outside the United Kingdom and a further 4% were from outside the EU.

The north west recorded a 38% rise in the number of rough sleepers, the greatest increase of any region. The Government describes them as "single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough".

Statistics published by the government on Thursday reveal that an estimated 4,751 people bedded down outside overnight in 2017, up 15% on the previous year. The report is, as a result, only an indication of the actual numbers of people sleeping rough each year.

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