Local Labour MP, Andrew Gwynne, has criticised the Government after new homelessness statistics showed that across all of Greater Manchester, as well as locally in Tameside and Stockport, that the numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets in up.
New figures released today showed that in Manchester there was an over 100% rise in the number of people sleeping on our streets, up from 7 in 2010 to 78 recorded in 2016.(1) More locally, Tameside which recorded no rough sleepers in 2012, recorded 19 in 2016, with Stockport also seeing a 100% rise, up from 1 instance in 2010, to 10 in 2016. (2)
The official figures show that across England homelessness has more than doubled since 2010, and risen by 50% in the last two years alone. This means that street homelessness has risen every year under the Conservatives. Under the Labour government from 1997-2010, rough sleeping fell by three-quarters and the number of households accepted as homeless by councils across England fell by almost two-thirds. (3)
The new rough sleeping statistics come as ministers are under increasing pressure to publish their delayed housing white paper – a housing policy relaunch after seven years of failure on housing on all fronts.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“The statistics released today are proof of a worrying upwards trend in homelessness under this Tory government. It is wrong that in a society where the rich are receiving tax cuts, we have the poorest being forced to live on the streets.
“Ministers must act now to tackle the root causes of rising homelessness – build more affordable housing, act to give more security to private renters and re-think the crude cuts to housing benefit. This is why Labour puts homelessness at the forefront of its plans.
“Andy Burnham, Labour candidate for Greater Manchester mayor has pledged to put 15% of his wage towards ending homelessness in Greater Manchester, and promised to wipe out rough sleeping by 2020. The government should look at Andy’s example and act upon it.
“Areas across the country are being deprived of funding to resolve the problem. I fear
homelessness and rough sleeping are only going to get worse under this government.”