§ Mr. Douglas-Mann
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is yet able to give the first results from his new system for collecting statistics about homeless people.
§ Mr. Freeson
I shall shortly be publishing the first results from the new system adopted in 1974 in London and in 1975 in the rest of the country. The figures show that at the end of June 1975 there were some 9,000 homeless households in temporary accommodation, including hostels, short-life property, and "bed and breakfast" accommodation. Just over 5,000 were in London. The figures also show that during the preceding six-month period local authorities provided permanent accommodation for nearly 14,000 homeless households from those who had approached them in this and earlier periods, including over 5,000 households in London; 80 per cent. of these households in London and 72 per cent. in the rest of England were housed in local authority dwellings. The remainder were housed in other accommodation, including housing association, new town or private tenancies.
The figures further show that during this period an estimated 25,000 households approached authorities for help on the grounds that they were homeless or about to become so; and that authorities agreed to secure accommodation for 17,000, in addition to those already in some form of accommodation at the beginning of the period. Those not accepted were found by the authorities not to be homeless, or to have been able to make other arrangements, or in some 363W cases to have been outside the priority groups noted in the joint circular on homelessness (DOE 18/74). Of the 17,000 households for whom authorities accepted responsibility, over 6,000 were in London and nearly 4,000 were in other metropolitan areas.
The incidence of homelessness in this six-month period was greater in London—at 2.4 acceptances per 1,000 households—than in metropolitan districts—at one per 1,000—or non-metropolitan districts—0.8 per 1,000.
I expect that further estimates for the periods July-December 1975 and January-June 1976 will be available before the end of the year. Meanwhile I will place copies of a report giving detailed information about the present estimates in the Libraries of both Houses.