Rough sleeping down but emergency accommodation use still high in London - Crisis responds

New figures today from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) reveal that from April to June 2021, 2589 people slept rough across London, this was down 14% on the previous quarter, while 395 people were seen living on the streets for 3 weeks or more. 

Responding to the figures Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “It is very encouraging to see a fall in the number of people rough sleeping in London. 

“But any street homelessness is of course too much and we can see the vast majority of people supported off the streets are going into emergency or temporary accommodation, with very few getting access to long-term housing. 

“It is also very concerning to see the number of people living on the streets in London for a sustained period has risen back to pre-pandemic levels. We desperately need a national government strategy to end homelessness in England, which includes both a plan to deliver enough genuinely affordable housing and a national Housing First programme, to end the homelessness of people with the most serious support needs.” 


Notes to Editor

The Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) is the most comprehensive data available about the number of people rough sleeping in London. 

The figures show that between April-June 2021: 

·       2589 people were recorded sleeping rough – this is a 14% drop on the last quarter and 39% drop on the same period on the previous year.  

·       1177 were seen rough sleeping for the first time, representing 45% of all people seen sleeping rough. 

·       395 people were living on the streets (seen rough sleeping for 3 weeks or more or five or more contacts this quarter). This is 25% higher than the last quarter and 50% higher than the same time last year. 

·       82% of people supported off the streets went into emergency or temporary accommodation, compared to 18% moving into long term accommodation.