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27th June 2023

The Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) published its latest rough sleeping report today. The report found that 10,053 people were recorded sleeping rough in London between the beginning of April 2022 and the end of March 2023, and 6,391 of those were on the streets for the first time.

This represents a 21% increase in rough sleeping and a 26% increase in first-time rough sleeping from the previous year.

We are clearly going in the wrong direction to achieving the Government’s goal of ending rough sleeping by 2024. That’s why Glass Door joined 31 other homeless charities as Key Supporters of the Keep Our Doors Open campaign and signed the campaign’s open letter to Rishi Sunak on rough sleeping services.

With rents skyrocketing while housing benefits remaining frozen at 2020 levels, hundreds of thousands of people are being pushed towards insecurity and homelessness. The introduction of the Renters Reform Bill is a positive step, but is unlikely to have a significant impact on its own. And while the Bill makes its way through Parliament, no-fault Section 21 evictions (which it promises to abolish) are being issued at an alarming rate.

There is increasing demand for the advice and support our caseworkers provide, not just from those actively experiencing homelessness but also from people who fear losing their homes. As the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy recognises, preventing people from falling into homelessness in the first place will be vital to solving the crisis.

Jo Carter, Glass Door’s CEO, says:

“We know that CHAIN statistics under-estimate the severity of the problem, but the latest figures show that rough sleeping is getting worse and there is a lot of work to be done."

We call on the Government to take the urgent action necessary to end rough sleeping, starting with raising Local Housing Allowance rates.