Hiba Mahamadi 25 January 2018

Rough sleeping increases 14% in past year

Rough sleeping increases 14% in past year

Rough sleeping has increased by 14% over the last year, according to new figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Camden LBC had the largest increase – over 600% – in rough sleepers over the last year in England, according to the figures.

There were only 17 rough sleepers in Camden in the autumn of 2016, compared to 127 in the autumn of last year.

The greatest decrease in rough sleepers was in Westminster LBC, dropping from 260 to 217.

Some 48% of the increase was due to increases reported by Brighton & Hove City Council, Medway Council, Southend-on-Sea BC, Tameside MBC, Worthing BC, Salford City Council and Eastbourne BC.

The chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing, Terrie Alafat, said that the ‘complete picture is likely to be much worse’.

Ms Alafat added that in order to tackle homelessness, the Government also needs to review welfare policies and make sure that councils have enough funding to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act.

She said: ‘History tells us that we can reduce or even eliminate homelessness but it does require a co-ordinated approach – that means government investment, funding for affordable housing and a concerted effort across the housing and homelessness sectors.’

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, reiterated that councils need the funding to adapt welfare reforms and start building affordable homes.

He said: ‘The Government needs to use the upcoming final Local Government Finance Settlement to accept the calls of both the LGA and the cross-party Treasury Committee, and completely scrap the cap on the amount councils can borrow to invest in new and existing homes.’

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