The mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street, has claimed there is no need for people to be sleeping on the streets.
Birmingham City Centre has seen a 50 per cent rise in rough sleeping in the last year and the region is estimated to need 300,000 new homes built over the next 15 years to meet rising demand.
This week Paul Williams , 38, died after sleeping rough bear the Bullring in freezing temperatures.
Mr Street, who established a Homelessness Taskforce to try and help tackle the problem shortly after taking office in the summer, made the statement as he was quizzed by the Coventry Telegraph over the effectiveness of the group.
During the mayoral campaign the former John Lewis boss pledged to set up a task force to tackle the problem of rough sleeping.
This week, the Conservative mayor pointed to government approval to trial a scheme known as “Housing First” in the region as an indicator of success.
The move will see funding provided so homeless people can be handed permanent accommodation before they tackle drug and alcohol abuse, or mental health problems.
He also welcomed efforts to reduce the waiting time for benefits such as Universal Credit to be received - an issue which has attracted much criticism to the Tory government.
Mr Street, who heads up the West Midlands Combined Authority, insisted there is no need for anyone to be sleeping rough.
He said: “Rough sleeping is perceived as a very big issue.
“There was more accommodation than there were people on the streets.
“I wouldn’t want people reading this to think anyone has to be sleeping outside, because there’s definitely sufficient accommodation for people to move into."
Asked how the taskforce had performed to date, Mr Street said: “It’s been encouraging. In my opinion, it has worked well.
“The big breakthrough will prove to be the fact we have persuaded government to trial the Housing First approach in the West Midlands.
“It is really radical, I don’t think it would have come about if we had not put our heads together in the way in which we have.”
He added: “The most important thing of all is that we have everybody working together in this taskforce. The local authorities, the voluntary sector and other statuary agencies.
“That’s what needed to happen because these issues do take a long time to change.”
Asked whether the taskforce could point to any tangible differences it had made, he said: “It takes time to answer that. But I think the evidence is growing.
“If I look what is being done with the housing associations, and what is being done with evictions, they’re really trying to work on policies around that.
“So I am absolutely confident that this is, and will lead to more, practical actions.”
Mr Street said the causes of homelessness were clear, but tackling them wasn’t always straightforward.
He said: “The data is clear, there are two primary causes.
“One is the domestic situation/breakdown. About a third of people becoming at risk of homelessness are from that situation.
“You are never going to stop that entirely. What we need to look at is what alternative forms of housing are there, how do people access benefits more quickly when situations change?
“The second is this whole question about failure to maintain rental commitments.
“What we are learning is that substance abuse tends to be a cross cutting issue that goes with other things.”
He added: “When people talk about homelessness, they often think about rough sleeping. But the issue is actually much bigger.
“I do genuinely think this is helping to reduce rough sleeping, I think we’re also working up the chain to reduce homelessness over time.
“Can we put a date on it? No. We haven’t put a date by when nobody will be visible.
“We talk about designing out homelessness by getting to the causes of all of this.”
Mr Street also acknowledged that well publicised problems with the Universal Credit benefits system had not helped the problem of homelessness.
He said: “The huge shortening of the Universal Credit waiting period is welcome and will make a practical difference.
“It will most definitely help. If people do not get benefits on time they risk not being able to maintain their tenancies.
“That commitment to swift payment is very important.”