Homelessness in London has increased by 79% since 2010

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 Twitter

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8 Responses to “Homelessness in London has increased by 79% since 2010”

  1. Leon Wolfeson

    You’re not reading the subtext.

    He didn’t say REDUCING homelessness was hign on his agenda, did he?

  2. littleoddsandpieces

    Will someone tell me that 742 rough sleepers is a true figure in London. Pull the other one.

    Capping housing benefit, the loss of social housing affordable rents, bedroom tax, loss of other benefits, low waged stagnated a decade into the past, and younjg people escaping abuse at home. There must be a whole hidden population. Some may even not sleep in town but in parks and out in the countryside.

    If someone wants to help a mate or a family member who is homeless, there is a way to get a proper government of compassion, by putting a cross in a box on a bit of paper in the place the council say on the card they’ll send you, so that:

    – mate gets a roof over their head

    – food money

    And also for yourself, your kids and your granny.

    And get yourself any state penson at all, being lost altogether from 2016 onwards

    See why under my petitition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:


    See how at:

  3. Pat Morgan

    I guess maybe we Americans shouldn’t try to copy everything British?

  4. damon

    Can anyone add to some detail of homelessness in London, and how it works with staying in Hostels and getting help from the council etc.
    I’m from London and have never been homeless here, but have been ”on the road” on backpacking trips to the West Country which ended up with me sleeping rough in Plymouth, Exeter, and Bristol.
    And in those cities I was told that I was not eligible to stay in any homeless hostels because I wasn’t from those places. The only help they would give me was buy me a one way coach ticket to London and make a phone call to a homeless shelter in my own London borough.
    They call this offering ”reconnection”.
    It was two years ago in March, which was a pretty cold time if anyone remembers, but that was just tough.
    A ”reconnection” was all that was being offered, and I was only let into the Salvation Army hostel on a few nights in a row when the temperature was going to be under zero degrees.
    They were apparently a bit worried about people freezing to death and then getting some blame for it.
    But as soon as the forecast was for above freezing, I was asked to leave.

    I didn’t really care that much as I was just having a fun trip really (even though it was grim at times), but this strategy is now the norm across the country I think.
    Which in London would mean that no one not from a particular London borough could get a hostel bed there.

  5. Guest

    Facts, not on your agenda.
    Rough Sleepers | Homeless.

    WHY it’s important that, oh, building be blown up by Hamas-lovers like your little linked site eh? Too much housing for you.

  6. Kevin Stall

    I have a good friend who was homeless for years and it wasn’t because he didn’t have rent money. It was because he could pay the deposit. He wasn’t a drug user or alcoholic either. He suffered from depression. His years on the street has made him home bound now. Has ulcers on his legs and bad arthritis. He can’t walk any more and will not bother to get the aid available to him. What percentage of the 46% of uk homeless are there because of mental health. Before you talk of helping the homeless find out what type of help they really need. He has gone from living on the streets to living in a cell. And not as well off as he would be living in jail or a mental care facility, because there someone would take care of him.

  7. Guest

    Shows how you treat your “friends”.

  8. Steve Broe

    Boris is the man who made it illegal to sleep rough in six london boroughs.. so adding a criminal record and fines to an already difficult and miserable situation is his version of compassion.. triffik !

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