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Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have been identified as homeless in each of the last five years for which records are available. (76762)

Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation, which is collected in respect of households rather than persons, is summarised in a quarterly Statistical Release, the latest of which was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 12 June.

Table 3 provides the number of households accepted by local authorities as unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty, in each year since 1997. Table 6 presents those in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities at the end of each quarter since March 1997.

Copies are available in the Library, and from the DCLG website at

The duty owed to a person accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need is to secure suitable accommodation. If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority may secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available. As an alternative to the provision of temporary accommodation, some authorities arrange for households to remain in their current accommodation (homeless at home) until a settled solution becomes available.

Information is also collected by the Department on the number of people who sleep rough; that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. These are shown as follows:

Rough sleepers (number of people)