The number of people living on the streets of London has risen by 15% over the past year, new figures have shown.
About 363 people were considered to be living on the streets between January and March 2022, after being seen more than three times over a period of three weeks.
This is a 15% increase over the same period last year, but has fallen about a quarter (26%) from the last three months of 2021, according to the Combined Homelessness and Information Network.
However, the number of people who have experienced poor sleep – which has been detected at some point but not regularly enough to be considered on the streets – in the capital during the first three months of 2022 has fallen by 10%.
About 2,714 were registered as sleep deprived between January and March this year, down from the same period as 2021, when the country experienced its third Covid lockdown.
Homelessness charity Crisis says the fall is ‘pleasant’, but has called on the government to provide ‘long-term support’ to help those in need.
‘With thousands still having to endure the brutality of lying down night after night, and an increase in people living on the streets, we still have some way to go before we can take our foot off the pedal.’ said CEO Matt Downie.
‘With rents rising across most of the country and living costs soaring for most, we know budgets are being pushed from all sides and this pressure is threatening to tip more and more people into homelessness over the coming months .
“Long-term support is desperately needed so that more people are not forced to live on the streets.”
A department for equalization, housing and communities said it continued to support councils helping get people on the streets, having already moved thousands in London for long-term stays.
“We are very pleased to see the reduction of hard sleepers across London, but there is still more to do,” a spokesman said.
‘Tackling hard sleep remains a priority for this government and we are investing £ 2 billion over the next three years to end it forever.
‘Councils across the country continue efforts to support hard sleepers to permanent homes.
“In the capital, our latest statistics show that more than 6,500 people have been relocated to long-term housing, and we are working closely with the mayor’s office, charities and neighborhoods to continue this effort and give people the support they need.”
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