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Number of Londoners presenting as homeless jumps ahead of World Homeless Day

The latest Government figures have revealed that the number of people accepted by London councils as homeless between April and June has jumped to the highest level for the period since Boris Johnson came to power. Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson Tom Copley AM highlighted the figures for World Homeless Day (Saturday 10th October) saying they showed the London housing market was “forcing many Londoners out of their homes” and warning that the Government’s welfare reforms risk “making things catastrophically worse.”

The latest figures, released at the end of September, revealed that 4,400 households presented themselves to London councils as homeless between April and June as they could no longer stay in their homes and, without help, were at risk of ending up sleeping rough. Over 4 in 10 of those presenting as homeless did so because they could no longer remain in privately rented accommodation. Last year a London Assembly report, Assessing the consequences of welfare reform, highlighted concerns that homelessness had risen – in part – due to private landlords increasingly turning away tenants who require housing benefit to help pay their rent.

Given the housing shortages in the capital many families who present as homeless are placed in temporary accommodation. As a result, the number of London households in temporary accommodation between April and June hit a seven year high of 49,630.

The 4,400 figure is the highest for the April to June period since the Boris Johnson came to power and suggests that the impact of the growing housing crisis is making it unaffordable for increasing numbers of Londoners to live in the capital.

Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM said:

“Not only is the rocketing cost of renting in the capital forcing many Londoners out of their homes, it is putting unbearable strain on the local authorities who have to pick up the pieces. Whilst these figures only provide a snapshot, with almost 50,000 households in the capital now in costly temporary accommodation it’s clear something has got to give.

“There is no doubt that the Government’s welfare reforms are making things catastrophically worse for those already struggling to make ends meet. World Homeless Day is a chance for us to highlight the real action necessary to increase supply and bring down the cost of housing. The only thing Government cuts to benefits will achieve is to make more people homeless and pile the pressure on local councils.”

 

Notes

-       The number of households accepted by London councils as homeless and placed in temporary accommodation in quarter 2 (April to June):

   

Homelessness Acceptances

Households in Temporary Accommodation

2008

Q2

3660

53870

2009

Q2

2540

45740

2010

Q2

2300

37910

2011

Q2

2640

35620

2012

Q2

3380

37190

2013

Q2

4230

41270

2014

Q2

3990

44270

2015

Q2

4400

49630

Source: DCLG

-       A breakdown of the reasons for homelessness is available here. (P1E form tab, cell N5 onwards)

-       Breakdown of the number of London households currently in temporary accommodation:

Bed and breakfast (including shared annexe)

Hostels

LA/HA stock

Private sector leased (by LA or HA)

Other types (including private landlord)

Total in temporary accommodation

3,170

2,770

5,480

19,920

18,290

49,630

Source: DCLG

-       The London Assembly Housing Committee report, Assessing the consequences of welfare reform, is available here.

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