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Crisis responds to London annual rough sleeping statistics

28.06.2018 880 XX

The annual Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) statistics released today show:

  • The number of rough sleepers in London in 2017/18 was 7,484. This represents an 8% decrease compared to the total seen in 2016/17.
  • 54% of new rough sleepers in London (2,406) were previously housed in long term accommodation, including 38% coming from private rented accommodation.
  • The number of people returning to the streets after an absence of a year or more has risen by 8% in the last year, and 53% in the last five. 

Responding to the statistics, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: 

“While it is encouraging to see the overall number of rough sleepers in London has gone down, it is unacceptable that thousands of people found themselves going from a settled home to sleeping on the streets last year. At a time when we know more than ever how to end rough sleeping, it is equally troubling that the number of people falling back into homelessness after over a year off the streets continues to rise. Across the capital, people are struggling to keep their heads above water thanks to spiralling housing costs and a lack of genuinely affordable homes. These pressures are causing thousands to lose their homes, and without a safety net to catch them, many have nowhere to turn but the streets.

“It’s encouraging to see the Mayor of London’s strategy to end rough sleeping and its focus on the kinds of solutions we know can work; such as Housing First. But like cities around the country, London will need support from Westminster to do this. The Government now has a vital opportunity to address these issues when it publishes its rough sleeping strategy next month. Encouragingly, it has already announced funding for new outreach teams, but to fulfil its pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027, it must put housing at the heart of its strategy. We need to see an ambitious house-building programme, housing benefit that meets the cost of renting and personalised support for the most entrenched rough sleepers to enable them to leave the streets behind for good. Ending rough sleeping is a bold ambition that can be achieved, but first it needs a bold strategy to match it.” 

ENDS

To view a copy of the CHAIN statistics or for further comment please email simon.trevethick@crisis.org.uk or call 0207 426 3880