Statistics watchdog warns government over homelessness figures

The UK Statistics Authority has told the Department for Communities and Local Government to stop using potentially misleading figures for homelessness, and said it would monitor its future statements on the issue. The intervention came after DCLG claimed that homelessness was at less than half its 2003 peak. The briefings did not make clear that this only referred to the statutory definition of homelessness – a relatively narrow meaning which only includes people local authorities are obliged to assist – and does not take into account those given assistance under homelessness prevention and relief schemes.

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