Rough sleeping up 141% since Conservatives took power
The number of rough sleepers in the UK has more than doubled since 2010, new figures show. This is despite the total number of people sleeping rough falling for the second year in the row, a total 10% drop from the 2017 peak.
Figures show that there were 4,266 people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2019, compared to 1,768 people in 2010.
It was found that men are far more likely to be sleeping on the streets, making up 83% of the 2019 total.
However, BBC (!) released research on Wednesday suggesting that rough sleeping was in fact five times higher than official stats show.
Their analysis suggested that over 28,000 people slept on the streets in a 12-month period, according to local council data.
“It’s good news if fewer people are facing the trauma of sleeping on the streets. But a word of warning, the number of people sleeping rough remains well over double what it was in 2010,” said Polly Neate, Chief Executive of homelessness charity Shelter.
“The Prime Minister rightly wants to end rough sleeping before the end of the parliament, but unless his government tackles the drought of genuinely affordable homes, homelessness isn’t going anywhere.
She added: “Rough sleeping is only the tip of the iceberg – there are literally hundreds of thousands more homeless people stuck in temporary accommodation.
“You can’t put a plaster on a gaping wound. Serious investment in social housing is what’s needed. The upcoming budget is the perfect opportunity to champion a new generation of social homes and increase housing benefit, so it covers the basic cost of private rents.”