Poverty and Inequality

26.01.17

Rough sleeping numbers skyrocket by 16% in last year

The number of rough sleepers in England has increased by 16% in the past year, over double the figure declared in 2010, new figures have revealed.

DCLG statistics on rough sleepers in autumn 2016 revealed that local authorities estimated 4,134 rough sleepers on a single night in 2016, up from 3,569 in 2015 and 1,768 in 2010.

Of all local authorities, the City of Westminster declared the highest number of rough sleepers at 260, followed by Brighton and Hove with 144 and Cornwall with 99.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, said the number of rough sleepers is continuing to rise at an “appalling rate”.

“Rough sleeping ruins lives, leaving people vulnerable to violence and abuse, and taking a dreadful toll on their mental and physical health,” Sparkes said.

“There is no time to waste. We need the government to take action on this issue, and we stand ready to work with officials to plan and deliver an ambitious new approach.”

A survey undertaken by Crisis last year revealed that rough sleepers are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence than members of the general public.

The charity has praised the government’s recent initiative in expanding homelessness prevention with the Homelessness Reduction Bill but has asked it to extend this approach to people who are already on the street.

In December, Shelter revealed that homelessness in England now affects over a quarter of a million people. The LGA said that councils are doing all they can to prevent and solve spreading homelessness but need more assistance in tackling the wider causes of the problem.

Cllr Martin Tett, housing spokesman for the LGA, said: “Funding pressures are combining with a lack of affordable housing and rents continuing to rise above household incomes to leave many councils struggling to cope with rising homelessness and to find suitable accommodation for those in need, particularly those who are young, vulnerable, or with families.

“The government needs to give councils the powers and funding to resume their historic role as a major builder of affordable homes and to address the widening gap between incomes and rents. This is vital to end homelessness.”

Recently, Westminster City Council announced plans to send homeless families to live in temporary accommodation to properties as far away as the West Midlands. In a cabinet member’s report on the council’s homelessness policies, the local authority has said that rising homelessness, complete with housing benefit cuts and rent rises, has left it with no option but to send more families into affordable, private accommodation outside of the capital.

(Image c. Trowbridge Estate)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation cou... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime mi... more >
Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

20/11/2017Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

A report suggesting that scrapping district councils could save £2.9bn a year has prompted anger from the District Councils Network (DCN). ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation could quickly deteriorate, new research released toda... more >
Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

20/11/2017Major growth investment includes £1.7bn city transport fund

The government has today announced that it will release £1.7bn of extra funding for cities ahead of Wednesday’s Budget. Prime minister Theresa May made the announcement, which in... more >

the raven's daily blog

Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

13/11/2017Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

Advertisement feature Christopher Gallagher, territory manager at SAS, explains how big data can be used by the public sector to find innovative solutions to common problems.  I have been really impressed by the work of Visual.ONS – the team at the Office for National Statistics, who are responsible for exploring imaginati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Driving forward a healthier Scotland

10/11/2017Driving forward a healthier Scotland

Dundee City Council is leading the way in boosting electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Scotland, writes Rebecca Wallace from the local authority&rsqu... more >
A smarter approach to digital transformation

10/11/2017A smarter approach to digital transformation

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a ... more >
Delivering on estates

10/11/2017Delivering on estates

Sam Ulyatt, strategic category commercial director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on how a new framework can help public sector organisat... more >
Open for business

10/11/2017Open for business

Clare Moore, senior specialist of valuation and disposals at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), explains how public sector bodies looking to... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

View all News