Prevent London rough sleeping before it starts

Thursday, 31 July 2014 - 12:53am

We welcome London Assembly report on tackling rising rough sleeping in the capital

Photograph: Craig Murphy (Flickr)

‘‘No going back’, a report published today by the all-party London Assembly Housing committee makes a number of recommendations to help address rough sleeping in London, which according to the latest figures is on the rise.

According to the Street to Home report report published this week,  2,497  slept rough in London between April and June 2014 - 23% up on same period in 2013.

The London Assembly report calls for an end to the ‘priority need criteria’ that excludes most single homeless people seeking help from councils from any offer of accommodation.

In England there is no statutory duty placed on local authorities to provide accommodation for ‘single homeless’ people unless they meet strict priority need criteria. Councils are only currently required to provide advice. 

Among its recommendations, the report calls for the Government to ‘amend the priority need conditions to entitle single homeless people in England to settled accommodation.’

It also concludes that more needs to be done to prevent rough sleeping in the first place by improving the homelessness advice offered by councils.

Commenting, Jacqui McCluskey Director of Policy and Communications for Homeless Link said:

“London has made real progress when it comes to helping new rough sleepers off the streets but more needs to be done to prevent the issue in the first place.

“All too often people just don’t get the advice or offer of accommodation that could make that critical difference.

“Councils in the capital are under severe pressure but we would welcome any steps that make getting help easier. Preventing rough sleeping is not only good for individuals but saves tax payers money.” 

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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.

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