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Volume 222: debated on Thursday 2 April 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's latest estimate of the number of homeless people in London, divided in (a) couples, (b) families with children and (c) single people.

Local authorities in England report the number of households for whom they accept responsibility to secure permanent accommodation under the homelessness provisions of the Houseing Act 1985 in their quarterly P1 return.The latest estimate for London appears in table 1 of "Households found accommodation under the homelessness provisions of the 1985 Housing Act 1985: England. Statistics for the fourth quarter 1992", a copy of which is in the Library.Information on households with dependent children and households in the other priority need categories and young single people in non-priority need can be found in percentage terms in table 3 of the same publication. The reported information does not identify couples and older single people and my Department has no estimates.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total number of people in London in (a) bed-and-breakfast accommodation, (b) hostels for the homeless and (c) sleeping rough for the latest available date and 1982.

Information is reported quarterly to the Department—half yearly before 1984—on homeless households for whom local authorities have accepted responsibility to secure permanent accommodation, under the homelessness provisions of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 and part III of the Housing Act 1985.Estimates of the number of such households in bed-and-breakfast and hostel accommodation in London at 31 December, including some on whom inquiries had not yet been completed, are as follows:


Hostels (including women's refuges)


In the 1991 census some 1,197 households were enumerated as sleeping rough in London on the night of 21–22 April. No count of persons sleeping rough was made in 1982.