Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Rough sleeping continues to rise across England

March 20 2013
Crisis warns of further increases following benefit reforms


Local council figures report a six per cent rise in rough sleeping in England. This is in addition to the 23 per cent increase recorded last year.

According to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) 2,309 people were found sleeping rough across the UK during a street count last autumn. This is up from 2,181 in the previous year.

London has seen the biggest rise, with 557 rough sleepers recorded – an increase of 25 per cent, making up 24 per cent of the national total.

Crisis warned that forthcoming cuts to Housing and Council Tax benefit, elements of the Social Fund (that supports low income households) and the introduction of a new bedroom tax (for social housing deemed to be under occupied); will contribute to further increases in rough sleeping in the future.

Chief executive Leslie Morphy said: “We have been warning for some time now that the economic downturn combined with cuts – particularly to housing benefit – would drive rough sleeping higher. These figures confirm our fears and with a raft of new cuts coming in April, we think this is just the beginning.”

Matt Harrison, a Director of Homeless Link, the umbrella body for homelessness charities, agreed saying: “With homelessness rising when many charities face cuts, councils need to continue to invest in services that prevent damage to individuals and communities.”