The number of people sleeping rough in Leeds has risen again according to the government’s statistics.
Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government evaluates the extent of rough sleeping in England and provides information based one single night survey of the numbers of people rough sleeping.
Rise in rough sleeping in Leeds
The annual statistics show that the number of people sleeping rough in Leeds has grown since 2010.
Statistics show that in 2010, six people were sleeping rough in Leeds, but this number grew year on year. By 2018, data shows 33 people sleeping rough in the city, five times the number in 2010.
Number of rough sleepers counted in Leeds:
2010 - 6
2011 - 11
2012 - 11
2013 - 13
2014 - 15
2015 - 13
2016 - 20
2017 - 28
2018 - 33
Roughing sleeping in Yorkshire
The region as a whole also saw a jump in the number of rough sleepers from 2010 to 2018.
In 2010, the statistics show that 115 were sleeping rough, which jumped to 150 people in 2011 and 157 in 2012.
Numbers dipped slightly in 2013 and 2014, with 129 and 126 rough sleepers. However, this number then began to rise again by 2015, with 160 sleeping rough.
In 2016, statistics show 172 rough sleepers, climbing considerably to 207 in 2017 and 246 in 2018, this being more than double the amount compared with 2010 statistics.
Local authorities’ street counts and estimates show that 4,677 people were found sleeping rough in England on a single night in autumn 2018.
This is down by 74 (2%) from the autumn 2017 total of 4,751, and up by 2,909 (165%) from the autumn 2010 total of 1,768.
Charities respond to growing rate of rough sleeping
Centrepoint head of public affairs Paul Noblet warns that there are "many more hidden homeless people" in unsafe accommodation.
"Today's snapshot statistics may show a slight decrease in the number of people rough-sleeping, but these figures are only the tip of a much larger iceberg as they only attempt to count the number of people sleeping rough on one night of the year," he said.
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said that the scale of rough sleeping is a "damning reflection on our society", urging the Government to tackle the root causes.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "The combination of spiralling rents, a faulty benefits system and lack of social housing means the number of people forced to sleep rough has risen dramatically since 2010.”
Leeds Council says there is no need for anybody to sleep rough in Leeds
The council said it has a ‘dedicated street support team’ which was launched in October 2018 to tackle rough sleeping, begging and associated problems.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council executive member for communities, said: “Work is now fully underway in Leeds to tackle the complex and challenging issues around rough sleeping. We know this will take time and it needs a whole city approach to ensure we provide the right interventions, support and care.
“Until we can comprehensively and collaboratively tackle issues which often accompany rough sleeping and street begging such as addiction, mental health and social care needs, we will continue to find people sleeping on the streets.
“This challenge faces us in Leeds and throughout the country. In Leeds we are working hard to meet the challenge and making progress. However, one person sleeping rough is still too many. There is no need for anybody to be rough sleeping in Leeds.”