Rough sleeping in England has risen 165% since 2010

Rough sleeping in England rises 165% since 2010

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Rough sleeping in England has risen 165% since 2010, with over 4,000 people estimated to be sleeping on the streets in autumn 2018.

Figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that 4,677 people were estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night, which was 74 fewer than the previous year - but 2,909 more than in 2010.

In London, rough sleeping had increased since 2017 by 13%.

Som 64% of rough sleepers were UK nationals, and 14% were women.

Under-25s made up 6% of the figure.


'Build more social housing'

Responding to the figures, the charity Crisis said: “It’s a damning reflection of our society that night after night, so many people are forced to sleep rough on our streets – with numbers soaring in the capital – especially when we know that with the right commitment, rough sleeping could be ended for good.  

Chief executive Jon Sparkes continued: “Living on the streets is one of the most dangerous experiences anyone could face. Not only will rough sleepers experience extreme isolation and often severe weather conditions, but we know they have a high risk of dying young and our own research shows they are 17 times more likely to experience abuse than the general public.

“If the government is serious about its pledge to end rough sleeping within the next decade, it must do more to address the root causes. This includes ensuring that housing allowance truly covers the cost of renting, and building significantly more social housing to meet the needs of people across the country. It’s the only way to prevent all forms of homelessness in the first place and truly end rough sleeping for good.”

Housing charity Shelter attributed the rise in rough sleeping to “a combination of spiralling rents, a faulty benefits system and lack of social housing”.

Government figures show that just 990 new social homes were completed between 2017-2018, compared to 23,947 between 2009-2010.

Private rents in England rose 0.9% in the year to September 2018.