EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)CzechFrenchGermanItalianPolishRomanianRussianSpanishSerbian

photo © Copyright Aaron Chown/PA Wire/Centre for Homelessness Impact

31 January 2023

According to the latest Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) figures published today, 3,570 individuals were recorded sleeping rough in the capital between October and December 2022.

This is a 21% increase on the figure from the same period last year.

Even more worryingly, the number of new rough sleepers has increased by 29%. Almost half (48%) of the people recorded by outreach teams this last quarter were sleeping on the streets for the very first time.  

During this extremely cold winter, and as the cost-of-living crisis continues to intensify, there is a homelessness emergency. Glass Door’s caseworkers are seeing a 14% increase in the number of people who approach us for support. Almost 30% of those turning to us are not currently homeless, but are terrified of losing their homes.  

More must be done to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place, and to remove the barriers that are preventing them from leaving homelessness. Too many people we support are being pushed to the brink of homelessness, facing impossible choices between paying for heating, rent or food because of the inadequacy of the welfare system.  

While rents continue to soar at record rates in the capital, housing benefits remain frozen at the same level they were at in 2020.

We’re calling upon the Government to consider this in its Spring Budget and fix the housing hole in benefits.   

We’ve also seen an increase in the number of people seeking support after being evicted from their homes. It is imperative that the Government goes through with the Private Renters’ Bill as soon as possible to protect vulnerable renters from ending up on the streets. 

Jo Carter, CEO (interim) of Glass Door Homeless Charity, says:  

“3,570 people recorded as sleeping rough, a surge of almost 30% before Christmas, is shameful in one of the richest cities in the world. At Glass Door, we know that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The figures released today only represent those found bedded down on the street. Many more people are either staying in emergency shelters, ride night buses or stay hidden out of sight. 

Of all the guests who were rough sleeping at the time they first got in contact with Glass Door, only 30% were known to be CHAIN verified.   

The Government has promised to end rough sleeping by the end of 2024. We are urging them to bring further and immediate measures to prevent people from falling into destitution. Uplifting Local Housing Allowance rates and moving forward with the Private Renters’ Bill are essential.”