Rough sleeping and child homelessness worsening

Nearly 4,000 people were recorded as sleeping rough last year, a 27% year-on-year increase, Shelter analysis of government data shows.

There are 142,490 children who are homeless, rising by 16,960 (14%) in a year.

Meanwhile 109,000 households are homeless in temporary accommodation. another record high figure and up 10% in a year.

With a general election on the horizon, Shelter called for political parties to build 90,000 social homes a year, with rents tied to local incomes, in a bid to improve the current homeless situation.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Today’s figures are further proof that the government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the housing emergency. Far from ending rough sleeping, through its own ineffectiveness the government has allowed it to more than double on their watch, while the number of children homeless in temporary accommodation hits yet another shameful high.

“We haven’t built enough social homes in decades, and with rents at a record high, thousands of people are being forced to spend their nights freezing on street corners. Meanwhile families are being pushed into grim hostels and B&Bs miles away from their support networks and where children have to share beds.

“Ignoring a crisis of this magnitude cannot continue. Everyone at risk of street homelessness should be provided with suitable emergency accommodation. But the only lasting solution is for the government and all political parties to commit to build genuinely affordable and good quality social homes – we need 90,000 a year.”

In 2019 the Conservative government made a manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024.