Homelessness: Sikhs

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of homeless people who died outdoors in the last 12 months were Sikh.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The ONS recently published a statistical report on the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales. This does not break down the number of deaths by religion. The full ONS report can be found at the following website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsofhomelesspeopleinenglandandwales.

Every death of someone sleeping rough on our streets is one too many and we take this matter extremely seriously. The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

In it’s first year, the Rough Sleeping Initiative provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff.

It should not happen that people die prematurely and on the street because they are homeless. Whilst we recognise that suitable housing is a key part of the solution, health services have a significant role to play, alongside other public services. The MHCLG is working with the DHSC to ensure that rough sleepers have the health care they need, when they need it. The 10 year NHS long-term plan sets out that the NHS will invest up to £30 million on health services for people sleeping rough from 2019/20.

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