New government figures show that the number of rough sleepers has risen twice as fast in the capital
Official figures show that the number of homeless people in London has jumped by over a third over the past year – twice the rate of the rest of England.
According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, homelessness in the capital rose by 37 per cent between 2013 and 2014, while the rest of the country saw an increase of 14 per cent.
Since 2010, homelessness in London has increased by a staggering 79 per cent. The homelessness charity Crisis say that the rise is due to welfare reforms, a chronic housing shortage and the fact that homeless people are not considered a priority.
London has 742 rough sleepers, which accounts for 27 per cent of the figure nationally. Analysis by the Department finds that 46 per cent of these people are UK nationals; 10 per cent are Polish nationals and 11 per cent are Romanians. According to their data, the number of homeless people in London in 2013-14 also included 134 Irish people, 413 Africans and 107 Portuguese and six people from the Australasian continent.
Boris Johnson has claimed he puts homelessness high on his agenda. But beyond publicity stunts like spending a night sleeping rough alongside media magnate Evgeny Lebedev, it is clear that not enough real changes are being made to protect Londoners from the danger and loneliness of life on the streets.
Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.