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Homelessness

Volume 537: debated on Monday 5 December 2011

The hon. Lady will know that I take a keen interest in this subject. We have protected the entire homelessness grant—£400 million—over the spending review period and, having revised how homelessness statistics for people sleeping rough are calculated, we found that the correct count was more like 1,700, rather than the 400 previously claimed.

I thank the Minister for that answer but my local homelessness charity, Framework, recently reported a sixfold increase in rough sleeping in Nottingham over the past year. How does he respond to chief executive Andrew Redfern’s warning that the Government’s deep cuts and welfare changes risk undermining Framework’s 10 years of success in tackling homelessness?

I am genuinely concerned to hear that, but I have the statistics for the hon. Lady’s local authority and they show that levels of homelessness have fallen over the past two years. She will be pleased to hear that the homelessness grant to her local area rose from £400,000 last year to £636,000 this year. If her local authority is not correctly returning information on the number of homeless people, I would be grateful if she could chase it up. It is one of our absolute priorities, and I am pleased to say that homelessness remains at its lowest level for 28 out of the past 30 years.