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Homelessness

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless people there are in (a) Hendon constituency and (b) Barnet borough; and if she will make a statement. (96930)

Information about local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households, rather than persons, and at local authority rather than constituency level.

This is summarised in a quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, the latest of which was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 11 September. A supplementary table presents key information at local authority level, including the number of households accepted as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need (and therefore owed a main homelessness duty) during the most recent quarter (April to June 2006), and the number of households in temporary accommodation arranged by the authority under homelessness legislation as at 30 June. This is available on the DCLG website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/pub/777/Supplementarytables_idl502777.xls

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.

Financial year data from 1997-98 to 2005-06 on the number of acceptances and households in temporary accommodation, at local authority level, has already been placed in the Library in response to a question from the hon. Member for the Vale of Clwyd (Mr. Ruane) on 23 October 2006, Official Report, columns 1663-64W.

Information is also collected separately by the Department on the number of people who sleep rough, that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. This information, from 1998 onwards and at local authority level, is also presented in the tables already placed in the Library.