Homeless deaths 'shocking and shameful' says Chartered Institute of Housing
Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics have revealed there were an estimated 597 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2017, a figure that has increased by 24% over the last five years. Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said: “It is shocking and shameful that so many people are dying on the streets of our relatively prosperous countries – and that the number has jumped by almost a quarter in five years.
"These statistics are a stark reminder of the suffering at the very sharpest end of our national housing crisis. And we must remember that they are only an estimate, so the true figure could be even higher.
"We must take action now. In England, the government’s rough sleeping strategy aims to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027 – this is achievable, but only with the right level of investment and all of us pulling out the stops to end homelessness.
"We believe that a chronic shortage of affordable homes combined with the welfare reforms introduced since 2012 has created a toxic mix. To truly get to the root of the problem, the government must invest in more genuinely affordable housing as well as reviewing the cumulative impact of welfare reforms like the benefit cap, universal credit and the housing benefit freeze for private renters."