The number of households that became homeless (accepted by local authorities as owed the main homelessness duty) in England between October and December 2009 was 22 per cent lower than for the same period in 2008. Homelessness acceptances peaked in 2003/04, and since then have dropped by 72 per cent, with year on year reductions.

In addition, the number of households living in temporary accommodation on 31 December 2009 had fallen by 21 per cent compared to 31 December 2008. Temporary accommodation has now fallen for 17 consecutive quarters and the largest year on year decrease since the last peak in 2004. 89 per cent of households in temporary accommodation are in self-contained accommodation. Since April 2004, when the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003 came into force, local authorities can no longer discharge their duty to families with children accepted as homeless by placing them in Bed and Breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks.  

The National Rough Sleeping Estimate for 2008 published in September 2009 shows there are 464 people sleeping rough on the streets of England on any single night. This represents a 75 per cent reduction in rough sleeping since 1998. The Government is committed to reducing rough sleeping to as near to zero as possible.

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