Rough sleeping figures fall by nearly 10%

By William Eichler | 24 February 2022

Government figures released today have revealed that the number of people sleeping rough has decreased by 9%.

Around 2,440 people were estimated to be sleeping rough on a given night in autumn 2021, according to the Government’s data.

This represents a 9% drop in the rough sleeping numbers compared to the year before and is the lowest figure in eight years.

However, despite the decrease in the number of people sleeping rough, the number of people on the streets is still 38% higher than in 2010, when the data started being collected.

In 2021, the council areas in England with the highest numbers of people sleeping rough were Westminster, Camden, and Bristol.

Director of campaigns at the homelessness charity Shelter, Osama Bhutta, said: ‘These figures show the race to end rough sleeping has started but it’s far from over.

‘We’re now at a fork in the road.

'There is a real danger that more people will be faced with the streets as the cost of living crisis rages, as well as a roundabout of repeat rough sleeping.

'We see it in our services and councils are reporting it too – the biggest barrier to keeping people permanently off the streets is the lack of suitable, long-term homes.’

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