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Rough sleeping in England rises again

New statistics show 2,744 people slept rough on any one night last year - up 55 per cent since 2010.

Government figures released today reveal that rough sleeping in England has risen by 55% since 2010, prompting Crisis to call on party leaders to review the help single homeless people get under the law.

English rough sleeping graph

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) statistics show a 14% rise in rough sleeping on last year, with 2,744 people reported by local councils across the country as sleeping rough on any one night in 2014.

Crisis says the rise is caused by cuts to benefits and Government welfare reform, a chronic housing shortage and the longstanding legal injustice where many homeless people are not considered a ‘priority’ for help. With no legal duty to find most single homeless people accommodation, Crisis warns that councils are turning increasing numbers away to sleep on the streets.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive, said: “These figures show that the law is badly failing people facing homelessness. Welfare reform, benefit cuts and a chronic shortage of affordable homes mean more and more people are coming to their council as homeless. But as the law stands, far too often when single people ask for help, they are turned away to sleep on the street.

“Homelessness is a frightening and isolating experience – the average age of death for a homeless person is just 47. No one should be condemned to these dangers. That’s why we’re calling on political parties to commit to review how the law protects people from the devastation of life on the streets.”

The figures from DCLG suggest that the problem is particularly acute in London, where rough sleeping is rising more than twice as fast as in the rest of the country. 742 people slept rough on any one night in the capital in 2014, an increase of 79% since 2010 and 37% since 2013.

graph of london

Crisis’ No One Turned Away campaign calls for politicians to review the help single homeless people in England get under the law, so no one is forced to sleep rough. More than 40,000 people have signed Crisis’ No One Turned Away petition to date.

Independent research published by Crisis revealed that a chronic shortage of affordable housing combined with cuts to housing benefit and homelessness services would see rough sleeping continue to rise across England.


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