Crisis responds to new rough sleeping statistics for London



New figures today from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) – the most comprehensive data available about the number of rough sleepers in London – reveals that 3,444 people slept rough across London from July 2020 to September 2020, including 1,901 who were rough sleeping for the first time, a 14% decrease from the same period last year and a 19% decrease from last quarter. (1)

The figures also show:

New rough sleepers account for 55% of all rough sleepers
During July – September 2020 there were 336 people recorded who were deemed to be living on the streets – a 27% increase from last quarter 

In response, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis said:

“It’s welcome to see rough sleeping numbers in London finally going in the right direction. These figures show that the initial influx of people forced onto the streets at the start of the pandemic has not escalated at the pace we feared. This is in large part thanks to the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme, which saw thousands of people sleeping rough housed in emergency accommodation where they could safely self-isolate.

“However, the fact remains that 3,444 is a huge number of people to be sleeping on the streets of our capital at any time, let alone during a pandemic. That almost two thousand of them are sleeping rough for the first time is alarming, with the risk of infection adding to the other dangers associated with not having somewhere safe to call home.    

“As winter approaches, and with the second wave of the pandemic affecting much of the country, we could see many more people losing their homes as businesses and livelihoods are impacted. 

“The Government must act now to fund accommodation where people who would otherwise be sleeping rough can safely self-isolate, as they did at the beginning of the pandemic. The measures they took in March undoubtedly saved lives and must be repeated.

“Once housed in a safe space, we need to ensure people can access appropriate services to help them move on from homelessness and into settled housing. We must do everything we can to ensure the pandemic does not leave a grim legacy of widespread homelessness.”


Notes to editors 

(1) Report can be found here