Posted 27 Feb 2020
Annual Rough Sleeping Snapshot 2019: Rough sleeping down 9% in a year, but still 141% higher than 2010
The government has today released new figures for 2019 on the number of people sleeping rough in England. They show:
- In 2019, 4,266 people were recorded as sleeping rough on a given night in England – this has decreased by 9% in the last year, but is still 141% higher than 2010, when this data first started being collected.
- 83% of people recorded as rough sleeping on a given night in 2019 were men, and 14% were women – this works out as 3,534 men and 614 women. The number of women in the snapshot is believed to be far lower than the reality because they may choose to sleep on public transport or away from public walkways.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "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.
"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. 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."
Notes to editors:
- The data is published annually by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The data is available here: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Rough sleeping tables
- Local authorities can either provide an estimate of rough sleeping or carry out a count. The counts take place between 1st October and 30th November each year
- The data has been collected since 2010
- The number of people found rough sleeping on a given night in England is the number of people who were recorded as rough sleeping on one night in Autumn. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Rough sleeping tables, Table 1
- The number of men and women found rough sleeping on a given night in England is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Rough sleeping tables, Table 2a