Around one in 50 Londoners are in emergency accommodation after being made homeless, finds research

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1st December 2023 13:57 - Housing

Around one in 50 Londoners are in emergency accommodation after being made homeless, finds research: Research by cross-party group London Councils has revealed that according to homelessness data, close to 170,000 individuals in the capital are currently residing in temporary accommodations like hostels or bedsits. This represents an increase of 17,000 people within just a year, which London Councils estimates will include over 83,000 children - equating to one child in every London classroom. In addition to this, many more people in the capital are homeless, either sofa surfing or in the worst cases, sleeping on the streets.

Acting on behalf of 32 London boroughs along with the City of London Corporation, London Councils sought to gather homelessness data, recorded in March 2023, with 28 boroughs responding. The organisation estimated the remaining figures by applying the average annual increase, derived from the received responses to the official homelessness statistics documented in March 2022. This methodology allowed them to approximate the current homelessness figures for these unresponsive boroughs.

The research also included surveys of all London local authorities.

The number of people who were placed in temporary accommodation has risen by an estimated 5,400 over a five-year period, revealed the data. However, a decline in that number between 2021 and 2022 was followed by a steep rise of 17,000 in 2022-23, which London Councils attributes to the Cost of Living Crisis. The organisation also highlighted that the situation is becoming increasingly unmanageable because of living costs continuing to rise paired with a shortage of permanent housing.

Researchers analysing the data also uncovered that there has been an increase in the proportion of families who have found themselves homeless and being placed in unsuitable B&B accommodation for longer than six weeks - the amount of time they are legally permitted to stay. The figure rose from 146 to 1,287 in just12 months (the year to April 2023) -- an 782% increase.  The proportion of families housed in B&B's after being made homeless rose from 1,543 in April 2022 to 3,242 in April 23.

Speaking about the research findings, Darren Rodwell, London Councils' executive member for regeneration, housing and planning, said: "This is the latest evidence of the homelessness disaster unfolding in the capital. One in 50 Londoners homeless and living in temporary accommodation is an appalling statistic."

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said in response to the survey: "We are giving councils across London £350m through the homelessness prevention grant, this can be used to help people find new homes and out of temporary accommodation.

"We recognise that times are tough for many families, but in addition to wider support we are also funding specialist teams across the country to provide bespoke support to councils.

"This will help to end the placement of families in temporary accommodation for long periods and includes advice on managing homelessness pressures and eliminating the use of B&Bs."



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