§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list for every year since 1945 the number of people officially designated as homeless throughout the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Armstrong
I regret this information is not available. Current information on homelessness, based on the operation of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 is contained in statistics published today, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
§ Mr. Anthony Grant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of homeless persons in the London area in the years 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, and to the latest convenient date in 1978.
§ Mr. Armstrong
The information is not available in the precise form requested. However, estimates of the number of homeless households in London for whom local authorities have accepted respon-728W sibility for securing accommodation are as follows:
1973 8,920 1974 11,360 1975 12,610 1976 12,440 1977* (Jan.-Nov.) 10,910 1978 (Jan.-Mar.) 3,460 * Converted to a 12 month base.
Estimates for 1973 and for the first quarter of 1978 are not strictly comparable with those for the intervening years. The 1973 result is based on returns made to the DHSS; these did not provide a complete record of homeless households directly rehoused in permanent accommodation without a stay in local authority temporary accommodation. The estimate for the first quarter of 1978 is based on a modified statistical system introduced to coincide with the implementation of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act in December 1977.