asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will start an investigation into the possibility of producing a national figure for the homeless.
A new system has been introduced for collecting statistics about homeless people who approach local authorities for help. This will provide more useful information than has been available before. But the different circumstances in which people become homeless, and the variety of the agencies they may or may not approach for help would make it impracticable to obtain a reliable national figure of homelessness.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he has made in his discussions with Shelter and authorities concerned with homelessness about the use of properties at present standing empty.
I propose to issue further guidance to local authorities on dealing with the problems of the homeless as soon as possible. I am also examining ways in which to bring more empty dwellings into use. In the course of examining these matters I have met representatives of Campaign for the Homeless and Rootless, Shelter and other bodies and will be meeting representatives of local authorities.