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The annual counts and estimates data for rough sleeping in England in 2022 was published today (28/02/2023) by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The data provides a snapshot of the number of people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in Autumn and is used to track national and local trends. This year’s count was conducted in November 2022.

It found the following:

  • 3,069 people were estimated to be sleeping rough in England on any given night.
  • This figure is a 26% increase when compared to 2021.
  • It is the biggest year on year percentage increase in rough sleeping since 2015.
  • Rough sleeping has increased by 74% when compared with the 2010 count, when the methodology was first used.
  • The findings end a run of four straight years of the statistics falling.

Responding to the statistics, Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link, the national membership charity for frontline homelessness organisations, said: 

"Everyone deserves a safe place to live and the support they need to keep it. This shocking rise in the number of people sleeping rough represents a massive, collective failure. People are being let down by systems that should protect them, forced onto the streets at the expense of their physical and mental health.

“The 26% rise is evidence of how the cost of living crisis has exacerbated long standing drivers of homelessness, such as a shortage of affordable housing, an often punitive welfare system and increasingly stretched health services. At the same time continuing financial pressures mean hundreds of homelessness services across the country are on the brink of closing down*, risking leaving people experiencing homelessness with nowhere to turn.

“The Government can and must take urgent action to keep homelessness services open. The upcoming Budget is an opportunity to recognise the significant increase to the cost of delivering homelessness services and to increase funding in line with inflation.

“And, as rents rise and figures show that more households are being made homeless from the Private Rental Sector, unfreezing the Local Housing Allowance so that housing benefit fairly represents current housing costs, as well as delivering the long promised rental reforms would go a long way to preventing even more people from becoming homeless over the next year.”

*From a survey conducted by Homeless Link of the homelessness sector, receiving 356 organisational responses between November and December 2022.

To view the official DLUHC statistics and press release and further information on how the data is collected, please click here.

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Nye Jones

Campaigns Manager

Nye is Campaigns Manager at Homeless Link