William Eichler 28 June 2022

London council chiefs welcome 24% drop in rough sleeping

London council chiefs welcome 24% drop in rough sleeping  image
Image: Diana Vucane / Shutterstock.com.

Local authority leaders in London have welcomed a dramatic decrease of nearly a quarter of the number of people who have been forced to sleep rough in the capital.

The annual report on rough sleeping in London from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) has revealed that 8,329 people were seen rough sleeping by outreach workers in 2021/22. This represents a 24% fall compared to last year.

The biggest decrease was in those new to the streets (a 31% reduction), but the number of those living on the streets – or returning to the streets after moving away – also dropped.

The cross-party group London Councils welcomed the figures as the sign of a ‘real success story’.

Commenting on the CHAIN report, Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning, said: ‘The fall in rough sleeping numbers is turning into a real success story for London.

‘It demonstrates the difference that can be made by local councils, voluntary sector groups, the mayor and the government all working in close partnership and putting resources into the frontline services that help rough sleepers get off the streets.’

Cllr Rodwell warned that there was ‘no room for complacency’, particularly in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

‘It’s crucial that funding for rough sleeping services is maintained so that this trend can continue, but we also need to see more attention paid to the wider homelessness picture which remains a key challenge for the capital,’ he added.

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