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16% rise in rough sleeping across London - Crisis responds

New figures released today (29 July 2022) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) show a rise in rough sleeping across London, with 2,998 people sleeping rough from April – June 2022. This is an increase of 16% compared to the same period last year.

It is also a 10% increase on the previous quarter, when 2,714 people were seen sleeping on the capital’s streets.

Other findings from the data release include:

  • There were 1,446 new rough sleepers, a 23% increase on the same period last year.
  • 411 of the people rough sleeping were deemed to be living on the streets, a 13% increase on the previous quarter.
  • Nearly three quarters (73%) of those sleeping rough had one or more support needs. Over half (51%) of those sleeping rough had mental health needs.

Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “It’s hugely distressing to see there has been a rise in the numbers forced to bed down on the capital’s streets, and especially that we’re seeing more people sleep rough for the first time. This must act as a wakeup call for the new Prime Minister that we cannot be complacent if we’re to end rough sleeping for good.   

“With each passing day the cost of living crisis pushes more people to the edge as they struggle to cope with the surge in bills, rent, and food, and yet we still do not have an updated rough sleeping strategy that sets out a clear plan for how we will tackle one of the greatest social injustices of our time.

“We cannot let anyone else fall through the cracks and face the brutality of homelessness. The new Prime Minister must publish an updated rough sleeping strategy as a matter of urgency, which includes a plan to deliver the genuinely affordable homes we need, so that no one has to face life on the streets.”