Government urged to take strategic action as rough sleeping numbers continue to rise

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 - 4:43pm

Government figures published on 25 January reveal a 51% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in England over the last two years. 

person sleeping rough

There were 4,134 rough sleepers on any one night in 2016, compared to 2,744, in 2014. The year on year rise was 16%.

The number of rough sleepers increased by 3% in London compared to 21% over the rest of the country. The 964 rough sleepers in the capital city now make up less than a quarter (23%) of the national total, down from 26% in 2015.

In light of these figures, Homeless Link is urgently calling for the Government to take strategic action and work with the homelessness sector to end rough sleeping.

Homeless Link's Chief Executive, Rick Henderson, commented:

“It is unacceptable that anyone should have to sleep on the streets, and yet the number of people sleeping rough has continued to grow year on year to shocking levels.

“Local homelessness services are working hard to support new and entrenched rough sleepers away from the streets. And while the Government has recently provided vital new homelessness prevention funding and support for the Homelessness Reduction Bill, both of which focus on preventing vulnerable people reaching crisis point and ending up on the streets, it is clear that further urgent action is needed.

“We are calling for a strategic, cross government approach and we urge government to work closely with the sector to find a solution to end rough sleeping once and for all.”

The local authorities with the highest numbers of rough sleepers are:

Westminster, 260
Brighton and Hove, 144
Cornwall, 99
Manchester, 78
Luton, 76

Explore rough sleeping trends in your area with our live tables on rough sleeping.

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Louise Weaver

Communications manager

Louise is the communications manager at Homeless Link.

Telephone: 0207 840 4427