Number of rough sleepers in Lancaster hits record high

A record number of people were estimated to be sleeping rough in Lancaster last year.A record number of people were estimated to be sleeping rough in Lancaster last year.
A record number of people were estimated to be sleeping rough in Lancaster last year.
A record number of people were estimated to be sleeping rough in Lancaster last year.

This comes as numbers across England soared, with homelessness charities blaming the Government's "ineffectiveness" to solve the housing crisis.

The Government previously pledged to end rough sleeping by 2024, but since the "Everyone In" scheme – which housed homeless people in emergency hotels during the coronavirus pandemic – ended in 2021, the number of people sleeping on the streets has rocketed.

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The latest Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 14 people were estimated to be sleeping rough in Lancaster based on a snapshot of a single night in autumn last year – up from nine the year before, and the highest figure since comparable records began in 2010.

Nationally, the number of people estimated to be sleeping rough rose by 27% last year to 3,898.

This remains below pre-pandemic levels but represents a significant increase of 60% in the last two years.

The count includes people sleeping outside but does not cover sofa surfers, those in hostels or shelters, or people in recreational or traveller sites, and figures are generally considered to be an undercount of the true number.

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Matt Downie, chief executive of Crisis, said the scale of rough sleeping is a "source of national shame".

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Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the Government "cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the housing emergency".

Ms Neate said the Government has not built enough social homes, forcing thousands of people to "spend their nights freezing on street corners" due to record high rents.

Further DLUHC figures show 109,000 households in England were living in temporary accommodation as of September.

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This was up 10% on the last year, and the highest figure on record.

It included 35 households in Lancaster.

Meanwhile, the number of children living in temporary accommodation also hit a record-high 142,490, including 48 in Lancaster.

A DLUHC spokesperson said: "We are now spending an unprecedented £2.4 billion to help people at risk of homelessness and support rough sleepers, including £220 million announced this week, which will help fund thousands of beds and specialist support services across the country through councils.”