housing_05John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing and Planning commenting on new rough sleeping statistics released today, said:

“These figures are the starkest possible reminder of Conservative Ministers’ five years of failure on housing.

“The number of people sleeping rough on our streets has doubled since 2010, and risen by 30 per cent in the last year alone.

“People will find it extraordinary that in England in the 21 Century the number of people forced to sleep rough is going up – and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

“The first step Ministers must now take is to exempt homelessness accommodation and other specialist housing from the Chancellor’s crude housing benefit cuts which are set to close thousands of hostels and make the problem of rough sleeping even worse.

“Beyond that, these figures must be a wake-up call to Ministers to change tack and adopt a more balanced set of housing plans.”