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Today (31/01/23), the London specific CHAIN homelessness database released its quarterly report focusing on levels of rough sleeping in London between October and December 2022. CHAIN is the most accurate and detailed homelessness database in England.

Key findings are:

  • There were 1700 people recorded as sleeping rough for the first time in London, a 29% increase on the same period of the previous year.
  • Overall, 3570 people were recorded as sleeping in rough in London, a 21% increase on the same period for the previous year.

Responding to the statistics, CEO of Homeless Link Rick Henderson said:

“Everyone deserves a safe place to live and the support they need to keep it. But these shocking statistics show that is very far from the reality in London. These aren’t just statistics, each and every number is a person. They could be a young person who’s recently left the care system, a woman fleeing domestic abuse or a refugee struggling to access what help they are entitled to. Each of them let down by the systems that should protect them.

“But, as homelessness rises sharply, homelessness services are struggling to stay afloat. Services have not received any additional funding in the face of rapidly rising costs, including energy bills. In a recent survey* of the homelessness sector, nearly half of services said they could face service closures. We would all hope that if ourselves or a loved one were to experience homelessness, they would have access to good quality support, but if the current funding crisis is allowed to continue then that support may well not be there.

“The Government can act to change this situation. Due to inflation, the funding announced in 2021, before the cost of living crisis, is simply no longer enough. We need to see a funding uplift in line with inflation for homelessness support in the upcoming Spring Budget to ensure services are able to continue providing vital support to people experiencing homelessness.”

Notes to editors

About Homeless Link

Homeless Link is the national membership charity for frontline homelessness services, representing over 900 organisations across England. We work to improve services through research, guidance and learning, and campaign for policy change that will ensure that everyone has a place to call home and the support they need to keep it.

Further statistics on homelessness

*Survey conducted between September and November 2022, 356 organisations from across the homelessness sector responded.

Key findings:

  • Nearly half (47%) of the organisations surveyed agreed that the rising cost of living, including increases to energy bills, means their organisation risks service closures.
  • Nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) agreed that a lack of inflationary increase in their funding would make services unviable.
  • Nearly one in five (19%) of respondents agreed that their service has already reduced services to meet the rising cost of living.
  • Nearly half (48%) of respondents saying their service has supported more people due to the cost of living crisis.