More people are sleeping rough on the streets of England than at any point this decade, new figures suggest.
Local authorities estimated there were around 4,751 rough sleepers on a single night in autumn 2017, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
It marks another steep rise in the problem in recent years, up 15% from 4,134 in 2016 to the highest point since comparable records began in 2010.
Charity Homeless Link said the homelessness figures amounted to a 73% rise in rough sleeping over the past three years.
In a statement, chief executive Rick Henderson said: "We echo the view of the cross-party MPs of the Public Accounts Committee: this rise in rough sleeping is appalling, with a saddening growth in the number of people without a safe place to stay, and at risk of deteriorating mental and physical health.
"We have a long way to go if rough sleeping is to be eliminated altogether, and as a member of the Rough Sleeping Advisory Group, we will be working with Government and others to ensure a strategic and co-ordinated response is put in place and effective action taken. Our members - homelessness and supported housing services - are doing some excellent work; they also need to be recognised as part of the solution, and continued investment in these vital services is critical.
"A key part of this will involve guaranteeing that the future funding model for supported housing provides the necessary certainty, stability and sustainability - something we do not believe the current proposals will achieve. These services provide a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable people and it is imperative that they are protected if we are to ensure that everyone in our country has a place to call home."
Charity Crisis echoed concerns about the trend.
Chief executive Jon Sparkes said: "It is truly a catastrophe that in a country as prosperous as this, more and more people are finding themselves forced to sleep in dangerous and freezing conditions, when we have evidence to show how the situation could be turned around.
"Today's report makes it only too clear that unless we take action as a society, the problem is only going to keep getting worse with every year that passes.
"While we warmly welcome the Government's pledges to tackle rough sleeping, including a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Taskforce, now that we know the solutions to end rough sleeping for good we're calling on the Government to take swift action to tackle the problem and fix it once and for all."
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