Rough sleeping in London increases by almost a third

The number of people found sleeping rough in London has increased by 31 per cent on the same period last year, according to the latest figures.

GLA’s Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) quarterly report has revealed a total of 3,217 people were spotted between January and March 2019.

Of these, 1,558 people were sleeping rough for the first time – 55 per cent higher than the 1,008 found a year earlier.

But more than eight in 10 of the new cases spent just one night on the streets. A total of 1,309 people were “intermittent rough sleepers”.

Just 374 people were deemed to be “living on the streets”, five per cent lower than a year earlier and 14 per cent lower than the three months to Christmas.

This could be thanks to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “click and donate” winter rough sleeping campaign, which has helped raise a record £247,000 for homelessness charities.

City Hall said 1,458 people were helped by its frontline services, up from 1,085 a year earlier.

Mr Khan said today: “Our services at City Hall are helping a record number of rough sleepers, as we’ve doubled our rough sleeping budget and the size of our outreach team. But as the figures show, more and more people are being forced onto the streets by the Government’s policies.

“The rise in homelessness across the board is a national disgrace, and ministers must stop ignoring the fact that their policies – from welfare cuts to not enough investment in social housing – are causing this crisis.”

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