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Rising homelessness figures prompt 'crisis' warning from Christian charity
As new figures reveal a record number of people are sleeping rough in England, a Christian charity is urging the Government to recognise what it has branded a homelessness "crisis".
Housing Justice said ministers must implement a cross-departmental strategy to tackle homelessness, which has reached its highest level since current records began eight years ago.
Director, Jacob Quagliozzi told Premier: "Rough sleeping homeless is now almost 170-per-cent higher on what it was in 2010, and the Government needs to start thinking about this as a crisis and they need to address that in a cohesive way."
Figures collected from local authorities and released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) show there were 4,751 rough sleepers on a single night last autumn.
The figure has risen 15-per-cent since the same time in 2016, and is significantly higher than the 2,744 figure recorded in 2014.
Asked why more people are sleeping rough, Mr Quagliozzi answered : "We've a perfect storm over the last few years where rising rents - particularly in the private rental sector, wages not going up as fast of those rents and welfare reform are contributing to a very bleak picture..."
The figures show 14-per-cent of homeless people in England are women (653) and 16-per-cent are EU nationals from outside the UK (730).
They also reveal homeless is most rife in London (1,137), with Westminster being the worst-affected council area in the country (217).
A MHCLG spokesman said: "No one should ever have to sleep rough; that's why this Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027."
They added that the Government is providing more than £1 billion to tackle the issue.
Click here to listen to Premier's Cara Bentley speaking with Jacob Quagliozzi:
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