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Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of people living (a) in hostels, (b) in bed and breakfasts, (c) in squats and (d) with friends or family members on a non-permanent basis. (206379)

[holding answer 20 May 2008]: The Department does not hold a total figure centrally.

The Homeless UK project, run by the Resource Information Service (RIS), provides information on hostels and supported accommodation for homeless people in England. There are 1,204 accommodation projects with over 57,000 bed spaces. 246 are direct access hostels with 9,000 bed spaces. Direct access hostels are short-stay emergency services aimed at rough sleepers and those in need of immediate accommodation. Further information on the other types of hostels covered by RIS is not yet available.

RIS does not cover accommodation provided under statutory homelessness provisions. Information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level. Data on the number of households living in temporary accommodation secured by local housing authorities in England under the homelessness legislation are available in our quarterly statistical release, which provides details on types of temporary accommodation including hostels and bed and breakfast hotels. The latest release, published on 10 March 2008 on the Department of Communities and Local Government's website and placed in the Library, contains temporary accommodation data up until the end of December 2007. At the end of December 2007, there were :

3,530 households in bed and breakfast hotels; and

6,620 households in hostels (including women's refuges),

secured as temporary accommodation under the homelessness legislation.

Data on squats or accommodation provided by friends or family are not held centrally.