§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evaluation he has made of the number of people likely to be homeless over Christmas.
§ Sir George Young
My Department makes no estimates of the number of households likely to become 1089W homeless. In the three months to 30 September 1993, local authorities in England accepted 33,690 households as statutorily homeless. This is some 1,910—5 per cent.—fewer than in the same period last year; the total of acceptances for the latest 12 months has now fallen in each of the last six quarters.
As part of the £86 million rough sleepers initiative, the Government are funding the voluntary sector to run seven winter shelters for single people sleeping rough in central London. Around 360 bed spaces are being provided from 1 December to 31 March. A further 280 places are available at short notice in the event of particularly severe weather.