More than half of England’s homeless people are in London, charity finds

More than half of England’s homeless people are in London, charity finds

Nearly 150,000 people in London are living in temporary accommodation, accounting for more than half the number of such homeless people in the whole of England, according to an analysis by the homelessness charity Shelter.

Almost half of those temporarily housed are children and the overall number of people in the capital with no home is boosted by a typical figure of 640 people a night sleeping rough, Shelter says.

Shelter has also released the figure of “at least 271,000 people” being homeless in the whole of England, including London, showing that homelessness is overwhelmingly concentrated in the UK’s capital city.

Approximately one person in 58 in London is without a home according to Shelter’s analysis compared with a figure of one in 208 for England as a whole.

Shelter’s figures are primarily estimates calculated from the government’s most recent statistics for people living in temporary accommodation arranged by a local authority under homelessness legislation.

The charity says government data from the second quarter of 2022 has been used “wherever possible” and the most recent from the financial year 2021/22 if it is not available.

A breakdown by London borough shows that the rate of homelessness is highest in Newham, where one person in 21 in homeless, followed by Westminster, Haringey, Hackney and Redbridge.

Newham also has by far the largest estimated absolute number of homeless people at 16,568 followed by Haringey’s 7,986. Shelter says the largest number of rough sleepers is in Westminster, where an estimated 187 every night form part of an overall total of 7,280 homeless people.

Responding to the figures on behalf of London Councils, Darren Rodwell, the cross party local authority group’s executive member for regeneration, housing and planning, said “These devastating figures reveal that London remains the epicentre of the homelessness crisis”.

He added: “The chronic shortage of affordable housing in the capital means too many Londoners find themselves homeless and reliant on temporary accommodation arranged by their local council. We’re concerned that cost-of-living pressures mean this desperate situation will get even worse before it gets better.”

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said “we are bracing ourselves for a sharp rise in homelessness in 2023”. She praised the charity’s workers providing frontline advice to homeless people and appealed to the public to provide financial support.

More on this to come. Photograph from Greater London Authority.

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