London Councils has announced that there is new homelessness data, showing that there is a need for ‘emergency action’ regarding the worsening homelessness crisis in the capital.
According to the government statistics that are referred to by London Councils, there are 101,300 households that are in temporary accommodation. This is the highest figure since 2005 and, considering London accounts for two-thirds of England’s temporary accommodation total, the number of homeless people in London is the equivalent of the population of a city such as Oxford.
Surveys conducted across boroughs in London back this up, with analysis suggesting that there are 166,000 homeless Londoners. Councillor Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing and Planning, said:
“These figures are the latest evidence of a homelessness crisis spiralling out of control.
“The situation is particularly bad in London due to the combination of cost-of-living pressures, a chronic shortage of affordable housing, and with rising rents and fewer properties available in the private rented sector.
“Boroughs do everything we can to support homeless households, but things cannot go on as they are. Homelessness has a devastating impact on people experiencing it, particularly children, and also leads to unsustainable pressure on council budgets.
“Emergency action is needed from the government to help households avoid homelessness and to reduce the number in temporary accommodation.”
As a result of the worrying data, London Councils is urging the government to take emergency action. This includes raising local housing allowance, boosting homelessness prevention grant funding, increasing discretionary housing payments, and bringing forward a cross-departmental strategy to reduce homelessness.