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Homelessness: South East

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeless people there were in (a) Lewes constituency, (b) Sussex and (c) the South East in each year since 1997. (301278)

Information about English local housing authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library and via the CLG website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/homelessnessq22009

Data collected include the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available, and this information is also collected.

The regional figures for the number of applicants accepted as owed a main duty and the number of households in temporary accommodation, for each financial year since 1998-99 can be found in Tables 3 and 7 of the latest Statistical Release. The equivalent 1997-98 figures can be found in earlier additions of the Release, accessible from this link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/homelessnessstatistics/publicationshomelessness/

Data are not collected at constituency level. Lewes constituency covers most of Lewes local authority and part of Wealden. Data are also not reported at County level. Sussex County is divided into East and West. The following local authorities form part of East Sussex: Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Rother and Wealden. West Sussex comprises of the following local authorities: Adur, Arun, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex, and Worthing.

For local authority level acceptance and temporary accommodation figures between 1997-98 and 2008-09 (including those listed above), I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 843W, to the hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink).

Information is also collected and reported on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. Local authority data and count guidance can be found here:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/homelessness/roughsleeping/