Rough sleeping in Rugby has more than doubled

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Rough sleeping in Rugby has more than doubled since 2010, official figures show.

Charity Crisis has urged the Government to do more to tackle the root cause of homelessness, calling the scale of rough sleeping a “damning reflection on our society”.

The council estimated that 32 people were sleeping on the streets in Rugby during a spot check last autumn, according to data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This is a 167% increase from 2010, when an estimate put the number of rough sleepers at 12.

Charities think official figures are likely an underestimation, as many rough sleepers stay in hard-to-find places.

The MHCLG compares different areas by working out the number of rough sleepers as a proportion of all households.

Rugby has a rate of seven rough sleepers for every 1,000 households, one of the highest in the country.

Local authorities across England estimated there were 4,677 people sleeping rough on the same night last autumn.

This was a slight drop from the previous year when 4,751 rough sleepers were counted - the first decrease for eight years.

However, the number of rough sleepers has increased significantly since 2010, when there were just 1,768 recorded cases.

Housing charity Shelter blamed a lack of social housing, spiralling rents, and a “faulty” benefits system for the dramatic rise in the number of rough sleepers.

Chief executive Polly Neate said: “We welcome many of the things that the Government has been doing to seek to improve services for rough sleepers, but without fundamental action to tackle the root causes of homelessness these measures will only achieve so much.”

In Rugby, 29 of the rough sleepers recorded last autumn were male and three were female.