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Number of Londoners sleeping rough rockets 37% in a year

 New figures out today from the Department for Communities and Local Government show a 37% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the capital last Autumn. The Government statistics found that between the 1stSeptember and 30th November, 742 Londoners were estimated to have been sleeping rough, up 37% from 543 between the same dates in 2013. The increase means that London’s rough sleepers accounted for 27% of the total figure for England last Autumn.

The latest Government figures come as a further proof that the Mayor of London needs to do more to help people who are forced to sleep rough. The Mayor had previously pledged to end rough sleeping by 2012 but since then, according to the GLA funded Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) the number of people sleeping rough in London has increased every single year with 6,508 people estimated to be sleeping rough in 2013/14. This means that 3,036 more people slept rough in London last year than in the year Boris was elected Mayor. 

 

Commenting on the figures, Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson Tom Copley AM said:

“In 2009 Boris Johnson made a promise that he would end rough sleeping in the capital by the Olympics. Yet since he made that pledge the number of people having to sleep rough has tragically gone up each and every year.

“Every person living on our streets represents both a personal tragedy and a failure of the system which is meant to protect them. Delivering on his pledge to tackle rough sleeping could have been a crowning achievement for the Mayor; instead it is a failure which gets worse each year.

“There is no doubt that the Government’s deep cuts to Council budgets have made things harder for people sleeping rough with support services facing significant cutbacks. But with the number of people sleeping rough on our streets increasing, Boris should be doing more to meet his promises to rough sleepers.”

ENDS


Notes

-       The latest rough sleeping statistics produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government are available here.

-       In February 2009 Boris Johnson said “It’s scandalous that in 21st century London people have to resort to sleeping on the streets, which is why I have pledged to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2012. We are fully aware that in the current recession, when many might say that we should focus on other priorities such as building more homes, that this is an ambitious commitment. However, even in these challenging economic times, we must not lose sight of those less fortunate.” (Boris Johnson plans to end rough sleeping in London by 2012’, Local Government Executive, 13 February 2009)

-       Data from the GLA funded Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) shows that homelessness in London has increased every year since Boris Johnson came to power:

Year

Total rough sleepers

2008/09

3472

2009/10

3613

2010/11

3975

2011/12

5678

2012/13

6437

2013/14

6508

 

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