Responding to the annual single night snapshot of the number of people sleeping rough in England, Cllr David Renard, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, said:
“Any fall in the number of rough sleepers is good news, but while progress is being made, the figures show that much more needs to be done to address the causes of homelessness.
“One rough sleeper is one too many for councils, who are determined to prevent rough sleeping and homelessness from happening in the first place.
“Therefore, we are pleased the Government has announced £236 million to help councils’ efforts to get people off the streets and into safe accommodation, and that Dame Louise Casey has been appointed as an independent adviser to the Government on rough sleeping.
“We look forward to working closely with Dame Casey and the Government on this and on addressing the vital, wider issue of homelessness.
“We are calling on the Government to build on this by using the Budget to adapt welfare reforms to protect families at risk of becoming homeless, and restore local housing allowance rates to cover at least the lowest third of market rents.
“With powers and funding to spark a genuine renaissance in council house-building, councils can also provide the homes, including social homes for rent, that are desperately needed to help boost affordability, home ownership and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping.”