0:01 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago 11
Rough sleeping in the capital is now the highest level in a decade, according to new figures.
According to the new combined homelessness and information network (CHAIN) 4,389 people were counted sleeping on London’s streets – more than half were sleeping rough for the first time.
The Mayor of London has said the figures should be a “wake-up call for the government”.
Mr Khan claims, more than 16,000 rough sleepers have been helped off of the streets since he was elected Mayor in 2016, with more than 75% staying off the streets for good.
He is urging the government to provide an emergency £20m funding boost and an end to short notice Home Office evictions.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “These new figures are very worrying, and a should be a wake-up call for the government. Despite the huge amount of work being done in London, we can’t do this alone and the truth is Ministers are turning a blind eye to the scale of this national crisis.
“In December I asked the government to play its part and deliver an emergency winter package of support, including pausing Home Office evictions to help prevent those most at risk sleeping in the cold this winter – something they have failed to do.”
He adds: “The government’s continued hostile approach to refugees has meant that hundreds of people are becoming homeless or sleeping rough on our streets.”
“As Mayor, I’m determined to do everything I can to work with boroughs and the voluntary sector to tackle rough sleeping in the capital and I urge government ministers to back our efforts to end this shameful situation for good.”
According to CHAIN’s figures, the London boroughs with the most rough sleepers were Westminster, Camden and Ealing.
A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson told the Guardian: “We have given London boroughs over £191m through the rough sleeping initiative programme to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.”
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