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Swale amongst best at tackling rough sleeping

Published Friday 4 September, 2020
Last updated on Wednesday 22 September, 2021

Swale Borough Council had the second highest reduction in rough sleepers in the country, according to newly-released government figures.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s annual report showed that the number of people found sleeping rough in the borough fell by 69 per cent between 2018 and 2019, from 32 to 10.

Cllr Ben Martin, cabinet member for housing at the council said:

“It’s great to see the work we’re doing to tackle rough sleeping is having an impact, but this isn’t just about numbers, it’s about people.

“There are a host of reasons someone can find themselves sleeping rough, and often they are complex and difficult to resolve.

“This isn’t easy, and there’s still more to do, but we will continue to work with other agencies to try to get people off the streets and into permanent accommodation.

“Last year we invested £150,000 to create a new support team that helped rough sleepers get into housing.

“They help support people living on the streets by assessing their housing, social and healthcare needs, and working with partner agencies to help them move towards a more positive future.

“We also worked with Riverside Housing Association to lease 24-units of accommodation at The Quays.

“This year we received £218,000 from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative and allocated £70,000 in the budget to continue the great work of the team.

“Not only will we focus on initiatives that help those who are sleeping rough, but also those who are at risk of becoming homeless in the first place.”

The report shows a snapshot of the number of people sleeping rough on one night in November 2018 and again in November 2019, then measures the difference.

To view the full report visit here.

The number of people sleeping rough on one night in November 2018 and 2019 for each local authority

Local Authority

2018

2019

Difference

% Change

Tameside

36

5

-31

-86

Swale

32

10

-22

-69

Enfield

78

24

-54

-69

Hastings

48

21

-27

-56

Cornwall

53

24

-29

-55

Camden

141

65

-76

-54

Birmingham

91

52

-39

-43

Bedford

51

30

-21

-41

City of London

67

41

-26

-39

Manchester

123

91

-32

-26

Table 2.3.3: Local authorities with the largest decrease in the number of people sleeping rough