Crisis calls for decisive action from Government as rough sleeping rises again
25 February 2016
New figures reveal that 3,569 people were found sleeping rough on any given night in England in 2015, an increase of 30% per cent on the previous year.
Rough sleeping in England has now doubled since 2010 and Crisis is calling on the Government to implement a comprehensive and strategic approach to arrest this rise, including practical steps such as changes to legislation to prevent homelessness. Wide-ranging reform of the private rented sector is also desperately needed - the loss of a private tenancy is the number one cause of homelessness in England.
Crisis Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, said:
“The Government has made positive steps towards tackling homelessness in recent months, particularly in protecting funding and committing to explore legal options to prevent homelessness. However, today’s rough sleeping figures are a stark and sobering wake-up call and show just how far there is to go before homeless people get the practical help and the legal protection they so desperately need.
“That’s why Crisis is today launching a new campaign - Home: No Less Will Do - which aims to ensure more support is made available to homeless people trying to find a home to rent. Our research has found homeless people are finding it harder and harder to secure a place to live as the vast majority of landlords now consider it too risky to rent to them. Of 800 landlords surveyed, more than eight in ten are now unwilling to rent to homeless people, while three quarters of homeless people reported they were struggling to afford the upfront costs required to rent.
“This is a desperate situation to be in: to be ready to move on and start rebuilding your life only to encounter financial barriers and closed doors. The Government already helps first-time buyers struggling for a deposit; it’s only fair they extend this help to those who need it most.”
“There are practical and immediate measures the Government can take to tackle rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness. With the average age of death for rough sleepers being just 47, they must act now.”
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Notes to editors
The figures present information released by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) rough sleeping counts and estimates, which are single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough in local authority areas between 1 October and 30 November 2015.
Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. Our purpose is to end homelessness.
Homelessness is devastating, leaving people vulnerable and isolated. We believe everyone deserves a place to call home and the chance to live a fulfilled and active life.
Crisis helps people rebuild their lives through housing, health, education and employment services. We work with thousands of homeless people across the UK and have ambitious plans to work with many more. We currently offer services in Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, London, Merseyside, Newcastle, Oxford and South Yorkshire.
We are also determined campaigners, working to prevent people from becoming homeless and to change the way society and government thinks and acts towards homeless people.