Rough sleeper numbers in England rise for seventh year running
An estimated 4,751 people bedded down outside overnight in 2017, up 15% on previous year
The figures – based on single-night snapshot street counts or paper estimates by local authorities – show that London, where figures rose by 18%, remains the centre of rough sleeping, accounting for nearly a quarter of all rough sleepers.
The rest of England recorded a 14% rise, with the biggest regional increase in the north-west (39%), where rough sleeping has almost doubled over the past two years and quadrupled since 2010. Hotspots included Tameside, Salford and Manchester.
The statistics also show the continued spread of rough sleeping into areas of the south. Oxford, Southend-on-Sea, Thanet, Swindon, Medway, Eastbourne, Hastings, Worthing, Peterborough, Reading and Wiltshire all recorded rises of at least double the national average.
Homelessness charities said the figures, up 169% since 2010, were a catastrophe and a scandal, while Labour blamed government policies for what it called the “shameful” figures and promised to eliminate rough sleeping in the first term of a Labour administration.
Doubtless some groups will call for more house building, blissfully unaware of the real causes or deliberatley misusing the data about rough sleepers.
Rough sleeping/homelessness is a consequence of various factors, but the main ones identified are:
Loss of private rented security
Cuts to benefits
For a recent analysis see: