Revealed: 70 people died on Yorkshire streets last year

It's World Homelessness Day today.
It's World Homelessness Day today.

Some 70 people died on the streets of Yorkshire and the Humber last year - more than double the amount in 2013.

The figures were revealed to coincide with World Homelessness Day today, and while Labour attacked the Government over the statistics, the Conservatives insisted they would not be complacent on homeless deaths.

Latest figures showed some 246 people were found sleeping rough in Yorkshire and the Humber last year and 350 homeless children are stuck living in temporary accommodation.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn will highlight the national figures in a speech today, pitched as an alternative Queen’s Speech.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, who is also Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said: “High and rising homelessness is not inevitable in a country as rich as ours.

“Homelessness fell at an unprecedented rate with Labour but has soared under the Tories since 2010.

“This is a direct result of shameful Conservative decisions to slash investment for affordable homes, cut back housing benefit, reduce funding for homelessness services, and deny protection to private renters.

“The next Labour Government will end rough sleeping within a Parliament and tackle the root causes of rising homelessness with more genuinely affordable homes and stronger rights for renters.”

However a Government spokesman said: “Every single death on our streets is one too many and these statistics are a sombre reminder that there is still much more to do to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping for good.

“Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities, which is why we are undertaking a comprehensive review which will help protect the most vulnerable – including homeless individuals - from the harms that drugs cause and give them a chance to recover and turn their lives around.

“We are also investing £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness and have made the most ambitious change to legislation in a decade. This is helping more people than ever before access vital support to prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.

“But we refuse to be complacent and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure we are providing the right advice and support so that people can escape the streets and stay off them for good.”

Also launched today was a scheme to keep vulnerable ex-offenders released from Leeds prison off the streets.

The first set of ex-offenders have entered dedicated accommodation, where they will live for up to two years, after having received tailored support in the lead up to their release date.

Homelessness Minister Luke Hall MP said: “No one should ever have to live without a home or a roof over their head. The new Offender Accommodation Pilot will give over 400 people who are leaving prison a home to call their own with the specialised support they need.”