The annual Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) statistics released recently show:
- The number of rough sleepers in London in 2017/18 was 7,484. This represents an 8% decrease compared to the total seen in 2016/17.
- 54% of new rough sleepers in London (2,406) were previously housed in long term accommodation, including 38% coming from private rented accommodation.
- The number of people returning to the streets after an absence of a year or more has risen by 8% in the last year, and 53% in the last five.
Responding to the statistics, Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:
“While it is encouraging to see the overall number of rough sleepers in London has gone down, it is unacceptable that thousands of people found themselves going from a settled home to sleeping on the streets last year. At a time when we know more than ever how to end rough sleeping, it is equally troubling that the number of people falling back into homelessness after over a year off the streets continues to rise. Across the capital, people are struggling to keep their heads above water thanks to spiralling housing costs and a lack of genuinely affordable homes. These pressures are causing thousands to lose their homes, and without a safety net to catch them, many have nowhere to turn but the streets.