London’s rough sleeping crisis hits record high, councils warn

London’s rough sleeping crisis hits record high, councils warn

0:05 AM, 2nd November 2023, About 7 months ago 4

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London is facing a rough sleeping crisis as new data shows that the number of people sleeping on the streets has reached a record high.

According to the latest figures from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN), 4,068 people were counted sleeping rough in London between July and September 2023.

This is a 12% increase on the same period in 2022 and the highest quarterly count since records began.

London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, warns that the situation is ‘spiralling out of control’ and urges the government to take urgent action to prevent a bleak winter for thousands of homeless people in the capital.

‘London’s worsening homelessness crisis’

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for regeneration, housing and planning, said: “This spike in rough sleeping numbers is the latest evidence of London’s worsening homelessness crisis.

“After several years of solid progress in reducing rough sleeping, it is devastating to see rough sleeping skyrocket to a record high.

“Local support services are under immense pressure and the situation is spiralling out of control.”

He added: “Tackling rough sleeping requires a range of policy measures, as well as close partnerships between different agencies and long-term funding commitments for the frontline services keeping people off the streets.

“The government must work with councils and other key partners to address these matters urgently, otherwise this winter looks set to be extremely bleak.”

Main factors driving the increase in rough sleeping

One of the main factors driving the increase in rough sleeping is the rise in the number of people leaving Home Office accommodation after receiving decisions on their asylum applications.

While this is positive for applicants, boroughs say that adequate housing arrangements must be in place to avoid refugees and asylum-seekers becoming homeless.

London Councils is calling for the government to extend the 28-day ‘move on’ period, during which newly recognised refugees are expected to move out of Home Office accommodation and into new housing arrangements.

Boroughs say a 56-day period and improved financial support would help ensure these individuals have adequate housing and do not resort to sleeping rough.

Most severe homelessness challenge in the country

London is facing the most severe homelessness challenge in the country, with rough sleeping the most visible, but there is an estimated 170,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation.

This equates to one in 50 residents of the capital and includes one in every 23 children.

London Councils is seeking wider policy action to address these homelessness pressures, including an uplift in Local Housing Allowance housing benefit for low-income private renters and a boost to Homelessness Prevention Grant funding for local support services.


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Comments

JeggNegg

15:58 PM, 2nd November 2023, About 7 months ago

NOT great reading, as we reach the beginning of winter.
2 questions
1 who is responsible for London's worsening homeless crisis?
2 what are they going to do short and long term, to reduce the number of human beings suffering?. I cannot believe this number have chosen to be in this homeless position?

Reluctant Landlord

17:00 PM, 2nd November 2023, About 7 months ago

Existing refugee applications being processed quicker, backlog stats coming down.
Rishy TICK

Number of people leaving Home Office accommodation after receiving decisions on their asylum applications = hotel bill coming down
Rishy TICK

The result of this 'positive news'..

Councils deluged with applications for temp accommodation which they have NOTHING to offer. Empty hotel spaces now being taken up the the other 2k plus Afghans being flown in from Pakistan (who the UK promised to house 2 years ago...but had no room then..) PLUS new refugees making new claims. Is Bibby even full yet?

New plans now include allowing HMO's to disregard licencing requirements in a bid to release more shared accommodation. Failure to see that apart from licencing, you still need planning permission and to carry out works to make a property viable. Planning departments all over the land are at log jam. Eveyone still WFH no one accountable no work actually being done = nothing is going to be released overnight.

This country is offically broken, not just the housing sector. End of.

Grumpy Doug

19:08 PM, 2nd November 2023, About 7 months ago

I'm afraid the councils have got it wrong. They just need to have a cosy chat with Rachel Maclean, the 15th Housing Minister in 13 years. She thinks that all is hunky dory - from March 2023
"What I believe is that there are lots of landlords in the PRS [private rented sector], and each of them will have their own reasons for being in it or not … There’s something like 2.3 million landlords in this country. If one leaves, I'm almost certain another one will come in. So this idea that our regulation will drive them out in the sector. I don't accept that. I've made that case to many colleagues, MPs on the right and the left, from all parties in Parliament."

Reluctant Landlord

7:44 AM, 3rd November 2023, About 7 months ago

"If one leaves, I'm almost certain another one will come in. "

she may be right...but being a GOOD law abiding LL costs money and if these LL's are leaving the market because of increased costs/low/no profit, then what type of LL do you think is replacing them exactly?

If the good ones cant make money....the only replacments are going to be the ones that cut corners, dont bother with standards, dont pay licencing, dont do annual checks....
standards decline, tenants still pay high rents and now have more ruthless landlords who inevitably wont flinch at kicking them out given the opportunity to get more rent from a new tenant, if they complain....

S21's will automatically fall if this is the case so no need to abolish them....those dodgy landlords dont use them anyway...

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