UK homelessness rises by 25% in three years
Homelessness in England has increased by 25% over the last three years, a study has revealed. London has seen a 34% rise, (from 9,460 to 12,720) and the South East figures increased by 38%.
Data experts, SSentif, say English councils identified 50,290 households as priority homeless last year. This marked a 6,130 increase on 2010/11. By OECD definition, homeless households are those households without a shelter that would form within the scope of living quarters.
The greatest increase in homelessness was seen in the East of England, where a 44% rise was recorded. The North East was the only area to make a reduction, with a cut of 10%.
The managing director of SSentif, Judy Aldred, said: “Whilst these figures are perhaps not surprising given the state of the economy, some of the results for specific councils are quite shocking.”
Boris Johnson signed a pledge with other London mayoral candidates earlier this year. It asserted his commitment to work with the charity Crisis, to end homelessness in the capital.
When signing the pledge, Mr Johnson told organisers: “Putting an end to rough sleeping in London is no easy task but it is one I’m determined to achieve. It is simply unimaginable that anyone should have to call the street their home in the 21st century and helping people before they become entrenched on the streets is absolutely vital.”
However, charities have more recently challenged him over a £5.3 million shortfall in budget funds, assigned for homeless organisations in London.
SSentif also noted a decrease in government spending. Funds designated to help address the English homelessness problem have been cut from £213.7 million to £199.8 million over the last two years.