Homeless person rough sleeping in the doorway of Halifax branch, 26/28 Colmore Row, Birmingham, West Midlands, England B3 2QE, Saturday Morning
Contributor:Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:57.1 MB (2.5 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5472 x 3648 px | 46.3 x 30.9 cm | 18.2 x 12.2 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:19 October 2019
Location:26/28 Colmore Row, Birmingham, West Midlands, England B3 2QE
Campaigners have called for renewed action to tackle Britain’s housing crisis after official figures indicated a surge in rough sleeping in England’s cities, coupled with record number of families living in overcrowded homes. Charities said welfare cuts, soaring rents and shortages of affordable homes were behind steep rises in street sleeping in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. There were 1,283 rough sleepers in the capital alone, a 13% increase, according to official figures The data for England as a whole, based on estimates after a single night snapshot in the autumn, disclosed that 4,677 people bedded down on the streets or in sheds and tents in 2018. This is 165% higher than in 2010, and charities said the latest figures were likely to be an underestimate. Advertisement By illustration, separate rough sleeping figures for London alone released on Thursday by the CHAIN database and regarded as a more robust index of the scale of the problem, identified 3,289 rough sleepers in the capital between October and December, up 25% year on year. “It’s a damning reflection of our society that night after night, so many people are forced to sleep rough on our streets – with numbers soaring in the capital – especially when we know that with the right commitment, rough sleeping could be ended for good,” said the chief executive of the Crisis charity, Jon Sparkes. The 10 local authority areas with most rough sleepers were: Westminster, where a 41% annual rise took numbers to 306; Camden (141); Manchester (123); Birmingham (91); Bristol (82); Newham (79); Enfield (78); Hillingdon (70); City of London (67), and Brighton and Hove (64). Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you Read more Meanwhile the English Housing Survey revealed that at least a million people in rented homes are now enduring overcrowding. Some 300,000 households in social housing were overcrowded – the highest since records began 25 years ago