Birmingham Sees A Big Rise In Homelessness

25 January 2017, 15:11 | Updated: 25 January 2017, 15:43

homeless man

There are seven times more people sleeping rough in Birmingham now, than there were 5 years ago.

Birmingham's in the top ten local authority's for rough sleeping - with 55 recorded last year.

Nationally, rough sleeping's gone up 16 per cent in the last year.

The number of people sleeping rough is now more than double the number there were in 2010 when it was estimated at 1,768.

For Labour, shadow housing secretary John Healey described the figures as a "national scandal'' and said Government policies were to blame for the increase.

"It is a national scandal that in England in the 21st century the number of people forced to sleep rough on our streets is spiralling upwards - and this is only the tip of the iceberg,'' he said.

"These figures are a terrible reminder of the consequences of Conservative ministers' seven years of failure on housing.''

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the figures were an "utter disgrace''.

"Britain is one of the richest places on earth. It is a stain on our nation's conscience that thousands of people are still sleeping rough on the streets every night,'' he said.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the homeless charity Crisis, called on the Government to come together with charities and local authorities to tackle the problem.

"Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people, sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks - anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements,'' he said.

"Rough sleeping ruins lives, leaving people vulnerable to violence and abuse, and taking a dreadful toll on their mental and physical health. This is no way for anyone to live.''