New Figures ‘Grossly Underestimate’ Number of Rough Sleepers in the North West

Photo Credit - Garry Knight - Flickr
Photo Credit - Garry Knight - Flickr

New official government statistics ‘grossly underestimate’ the number of rough sleepers across the UK – according to homeless charity Glass Door.

According to the new report, rough sleepers in the North West dropped by over 18% – with Preston and Blackpool combined supposedly having less than 30 rough sleepers.

These statistics are ‘snapshot’ figures, collected by every council in the UK on a single night last Autumn, which in many cases were collated by a third-party such as local charities.

They suggest that across the entire North West, there are an estimated 349 rough sleepers – a drop from 2018’s figure of 428.

This report arrives as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledges to invest £236m into resolving the crisis. Speaking at a visit to homelessness charity The Connection, he said that ‘the rough sleeping crisis is totally unacceptable.”

Critics of the Government’s approach argue the causes of homelessness have still not been addressed and that these official figures are incorrect.  

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said the report is “seriously misleading as it dramatically undercounts the number of people sleeping rough.”

Earlier this week, an independent inquiry – the UK2070 Commission – identified several reasons for growing homelessness including “longer waiting lists for social-rented housing; and the unaffordable cost of private rented and market housing. This has resulted in housing imbalances which reinforce wider patterns of inequality within UK cities and regions.”

The UK2070 Commission was set up to investigate regional inequalities and economic disparity throughout the UK.

(Photo Credit – Garry Knight)