Thomas Bridge 27 February 2015

Charity blames rise in rough sleepers on benefit cuts

Charity blames rise in rough sleepers on benefit cuts image

A 55% rise in the number of people sleeping rough since 2010 has been linked to Coalition benefit cuts and welfare reforms.

New statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government have revealed 2,744 people were estimated to be sleeping on the streets of England at any one time last autumn, marking a 14% rise on figures from 2013.

Particular concern was raised over the numbers of rough sleepers in London, which climbed by 37% on the previous year in comparison to just a 7% rise for the rest of England. Levels of rough sleeping in the capital have risen by 79% since 2010.

Homelessness charity Crisis linked the rises to Government welfare reforms and the ‘legal injustice’, whereby many councils were turning increasing numbers of rough sleepers away because they ‘are not considered a “priority” for help’.

Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, said: ‘These figures show that the law is badly failing people facing homelessness. Welfare reform, benefit cuts and a chronic shortage of affordable homes mean more and more people are coming to their council as homeless. But as the law stands, far too often when single people ask for help, they are turned away to sleep on the street.

‘Homelessness is a frightening and isolating experience – the average age of death for a homeless person is just 47. No one should be condemned to these dangers. That’s why we’re calling on political parties to commit to review how the law protects people from the devastation of life on the streets.’

However the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said there was no evidence that removal of the spare room subsidy and reforms to the local housing allowance and benefit cap had resulted in a rise in homelessness.

A DWP spokesman said: ‘Homelessness is at one of the lowest levels for the last 30 years and official evaluation does not show a link to welfare reforms - which are focussed on helping people improve their circumstances.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Digital & ICT Programme Manager

Jemimah Julien
Negotiable day rate
Looking to speak with interims with a track record of delivering digital and ICT programmes of work, as part of a wider change and transformation p... South East England
Recuriter: Jemimah Julien

Interim Families Programme Manager

Jemimah Julien
Negotiable day rate
Our local authority client is seeking an interim to lead a number of financial improvement programmes within the Families Directorate. Previous exp... South East England
Recuriter: Jemimah Julien

Independent non-executive members of proposed NHS Integrated Care Boards

NHS
Competitive
Do you have the vision to shape the future of health and care for people in your area? Nationwide
Recuriter: NHS

Lead Community Protection Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37722 - £40869 per annum + value award of £2,472 per annum
2 x Lead Community Protection OfficersCommunity Protection Team(PO3 plus an incremental value award of £2,472 per annum) Permanent Our Community Prote England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

School Organisation Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£41,952- £48,663
We’re giving a platform to people inside and outside our community. Because, we’re not just home to the UK’s fast-growing economy. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue