§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many homeless families are in priority need in each local authority; 
(2) how many homeless families in priority need are temporarily housed in each type of accommodation; 
(3) what proportion of homeless families in priority need have children; and how many (a) children and (b) children under five are members of such families; 
(4) what proportion of members of homeless families in priority need (a) have criminal records and (b) are on a drug rehabilitation scheme; 
(5) what proportion of homeless families in priority need have a family member who is registered unemployed. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's latest Statistical Release on statutory homelessness, covering figures for England up to the end of March 2003, was published on 17 June 2003.
Information summarised in Table 4 shows that 129,320 households were accepted as homeless and in priority need by local authorities in England during 2002–03. In some 53 per cent. of these cases the presence of a dependent child or children in the household was cited as the most relevant factor in determining priority need. It is estimated that these families contained some 115,000 children; no information is collected centrally on the ages of children.
Table 7 shows that on 31 March 2003, 90,680 homeless households were in some form of temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities. This includes household; accommodated pending the local authority's decision on the application.
An expanded breakdown of all homelessness decisions, acceptances and numbers in various types of temporary accommodation as reported by individual local authorities is presented in Supplementary Tables accompanying the Statistical Release.
Information about the number of people in households accepted as homeless who have criminal records, are in a drug rehabilitation scheme or are unemployed, is not collected centrally.
National and regional PIE-based figures—which include estimates for non-responding local authorities—appear in a quarterly Statistical Release, available in the Library and via the ODPM website. An accompanying Supplementary Table presents key data at regional and local authority level. The ODPM website link is: http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk/ statistics/publicat/homelessness/index. htm#quarterly
§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of homeless families in priority need have a family member registered disabled. 
§ Yvette Cooper
During 2002/03, local authorities in England accepted over 129,000 households as being homeless and in priority need. Precise information on the number of these containing a person registered as disabled is not collected centrally, and could only be 291W provided at disproportionate cost. However, in some 7,000 (5 per cent) of these cases the vulnerability of a household member due to a physical disability was reported as the most relevant factor in determining priority need; in a further 11,000 (9 per cent.) cases a mental illness or disability was considered the most relevant.
Although a household may be eligible under more than one priority need category, authorities are only asked to record the one which they deemed most relevant to their decision. It is possible that some households which were accepted because, for example, there were dependent children would also contain a person with a physical or mental disability.
The above statistics are included in the latest quarterly Statistical Release on statutory homelessness, issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on 17 June and covering statistics up to end March 2003. Copies are available in the library of the House.
§ Ms. Oona King
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to commission an inquiry into the(a) experiences and (b) causes of hidden homelessness in response to the recommendation contained in the Executive Summary of Housing and BME communities: A review of the evidence base. 
§ Yvette Cooper
Following publication for the first time in September 2002 of local authority homelessness statistics in relation to homelessness amongst black and minority ethnic communities, the Homelessness Directorate in my Department commissioned research to investigate the causes of homelessness amongst people from different black and minority ethnic groups and whether existing homelessness services meet their needs. This work is focused on BME households who have been accepted by the local authority as having a priority need for accommodation, but will cover issues around what the review of evidence in relation to housing and black and minority ethnic communities referred to as "so-called hidden homelessness". The current research is due to report in the Autumn and will include good practice recommendations on effective responses to homelessness for people from different black and minority ethnic groups.
In addition to this research, the Homelessness Act 2002 requires all local authorities to conduct a review of homelessness and have a strategy based on that review. The first strategies must be in place by 30 July this year and must aim to prevent homelessness and ensure that accommodation and support are available for people who become homeless or are at risk of doing so. Statutory and good practice guidance issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister emphasises the need for reviews, strategies and homelessness services to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities.
Earlier this year, the Homelessness Directorate sponsored a series of seminars around the country designed to help local authorities and other agencies engage with, and address the needs of, faith and black and minority ethnic communities in conducting homelessness reviews and developing homelessness strategies and services.292W
A breakdown of homelessness amongst black and minority ethnic groups is now published quarterly with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's regular statistical release on homelessness. The Homelessness Directorate will keep the extent of homelessness amongst black and minority ethnic communities, and the evidence base relating to that, under review.