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Number of England rough sleepers up by third in 3 yrs

Critics blamed the dramatic rise on Britain’s housing crisis and the coalition government’s benefits cuts.

Source : Presstv / 27 Feb 2014

The number of people sleeping rough in England has increased by more than a third over a period of three years, new official figures show.

According to the statistics, released by the UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government on Tuesday, there were some 2,414 people rough sleeping on any one night across England in 2013, showing an increase of 37 percent when compared with the 2010 data.

The total number of those sleeping in places not designed for habitation declined by three percent in the capital London between 2012 and 2013, but it surged elsewhere in England by about seven percent on last year's figure.

Critics blamed the dramatic rise on Britain’s housing crisis and the coalition government’s benefits cuts.

British Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds described the figures as “appalling,” saying the Tory-led government is responsible for forcing thousands out of shelters and on to streets in the country.

“The government was warned its policies risked increasing homelessness and rough sleeping but these warnings fell on deaf ears. What we are seeing now are the direct consequences of [British Prime Minister] David Cameron's failure,” she said.

Leslie Morphy, the chief executive of the charity Crisis, also warned that more and more real lives are being “devastated” as a result of the “traumatic experience of homelessness” in the UK.

In December last year, a report by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) showed that homelessness in the UK has been rising for three years in a row under the twin pressures of housing shortages and government cuts to benefits.

The research also revealed that an estimated 185,000 people a year are forced into homelessness in England.

 

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