Local authority chiefs say they are ‘determined’ to prevent homelessness as figures reveal almost 600 homeless people died in England and Wales last year.
The Office for National Statistics has calculated that there were 482 deaths among homeless people in 2013, rising to 597 in 2017.
This increase represents a 24% rise over a five year period — a period that saw an estimated 2,627 homeless people die.
‘Every death of a homeless person is preventable. We must make this everybody's business to work together to stop this tragic loss of life and stop homelessness from happening in the first place,’ said Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman.
‘Councils are determined to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping from happening in the first place and support families affected. This is becoming increasingly difficult with homelessness services facing a funding gap of more than £100m in 2019/20.
‘Proper resourcing of local government funding is essential if we are going to end rising homelessness.’
‘Councils also need to keep 100% of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms to prevent people from losing their home where possible,’ Cllr Tett added.