The Government estimates that four in every 100 rough sleepers is from the armed forces.
Official figures released earlier this year for Autumn 2011 put the total number of rough sleepers in England at 2,181 – a rise of 23% compared to 2010.
Yesterday in the House of Lords Lord Rogan said that a higher proportion of ex-service personnel are sleeping rough compared with the population as a whole. He asked whether the Government would take urgent steps to address the problem.
The parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Communities and Local Government department, Baroness Hanham, said that statistics show that 4% of those sleeping rough are from the armed forces.
She said: “My right honourable friend Grant Shapps, when he was Minister for Housing in the previous Parliament, had already made it clear that those from the armed forces absolutely received top priority. We are very aware of that problem. However, as I say, the figure is as low as four in one hundred.”
Baroness Hanham said the Government is committed to tackling rough sleeping.
She said: “We have provided £400 million over four years to prevent homelessness, including £34 million to the Greater London Authority to tackle rough sleeping across the capital. My department is also providing £5 million to London to set up a social impact bond to help 750 entrenched rough sleepers in London. The mayor’s No Second Night Out scheme has been particularly successful in helping new rough sleepers in London off the street quickly, and we are investing to roll out No Second Night Out nationally.”