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Sleeping Rough: Ex-servicemen

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of ex-service personnel in the number of street homeless people in England. (314024)

The annual headline figure for rough sleeping, based on local authority street counts, does not include information such as whether a rough sleeper is a former member of the armed forces. However, there is specific data for London provided under the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) recording system.

Rough sleeping among ex-armed forces personnel has dropped and earlier surveys found that around a quarter had been in the armed services at some stage and in 2002 this figure was 14 per cent. Better accommodation advice for those leaving the armed forces and closer working between Government and the charitable sector, including provision of supported housing ventures, has helped reduce the numbers. As a result, in 2008-09, for those rough sleepers in London contacted by services 5 per cent. of rough sleepers were ex-service personnel.