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Volume 178: debated on Wednesday 24 October 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will finance research to assess the number sleeping rough in the United Kingdom, the causes and the demographic profile.

The 1991 population census, to be carried out in England and Wales by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and in Scotland by the General Register Office for Scotland, will include a count of persons sleeping rough. The Northern Ireland Census Office will not be including a count of persons sleeping rough, as consultations with the charities dealing with the homeless suggest that the numbers involved are very small. My Department is in the process of commissioning a study of single homeless people which will include those who sleep rough in England.