LGA responds to ONS figures on the number of deaths of homeless people

The LGA responds to ONS figures published this morning showing there has been a 22 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of deaths of homeless people in 2018 in England and Wales. Two in five of these were related to drug poisoning.

homeless person begging on the street in winter

Responding to figures from the Office for National Statistics on the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2018, Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said:

"What is especially saddening about these worrying figures is that every single case of a homeless person dying could have been prevented.

"It is really important that we make this everybody's business to work together to stop this tragic loss of life and prevent homelessness and rough sleeping from happening in the first place.

"This is why we need the Government to provide councils with a long-term sustainable funding solution if we are to reduce homelessness, and with two in five deaths related to drug poisoning, adequately fund public health services so that councils can invest in drug and alcohol treatment services to make sure people get the support they need.

“The Government should also adapt welfare reforms to protect families at risk of becoming homeless, and give councils the powers to invest in new homes for those that need them, such as through reforming the Right to Buy scheme to enable councils to keep all sales receipts and set discounts locally.”

Notes to editors