Homelessness Lead Paul Dennett reacts to official data showing homeless deaths in city-region

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the first-ever experimental statistics of the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales at local authority level, for the years 2013 to 2017.

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford and GMCA Lead on Housing, Planning and Homelessness, gives his reaction to the figures: "As a city-region we welcome the publication of the first national statistics by the Office for National Statistics capturing deaths among people sleeping rough and people living in homeless shelters.

"The statistics confirm what we have been reporting to government for some time. Austerity, the emergence of the gig economy, welfare reform and a chronic under-supply of truly affordable housing and supported accommodation have created vast swathes of destitution in the country’s most deprived areas, cities and beyond.

"It is shameful that in today’s world there are still people living and dying on our streets. This is something that simply should not be happening in 21st century Britain, the fifth richest country in the world!

"The scale of this humanitarian crisis means that we have prioritised our efforts to address rough sleeping throughout this winter. Our A Bed Every Night programme has already helped more than 1,500 people across the region into accommodation since the start of November, but we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that no-one has to sleep rough on our streets.

“The Manchester Evening News also deserves full credit for helping bring this issue to the attention of the nation, maintaining their focus on serious local investigative journalism. The individual stories we have seen emerge in recent years remind us all that behind these statistics are human beings, people’s lives and our residents of Greater Manchester."

The statistics were published on 25 February 2019.

Article Published: 25/02/2019 16:45 PM