ROUGH-SLEEPING figures in London have hit a record high, with 8,855 people recorded as bedding down on the capital’s street last year, according to annual Chain figures published by the Greater London Authority.
The latest figures were two and half times the equivalent number recorded in 2009-10 when 3,673 people were identified as rough sleeping.
5,529 new rough sleepers were spotted on the capital’s streets last year – equivalent to 15 people a day finding themselves sleeping rough for the first time. More than a third had lost private rented accommodation.
The 18% year-on-year rise in 2018-19 was called a “national disgrace” by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Khan said: “The rise in rough sleeping across the country and in London is a national disgrace and at City Hall e have doubled our rough-sleeping budget and the size of our outreach team, helping record numbers of rough sleepers.
“But the figures show more and more people continue to be forced on to the streets by the government’s policies – from welfare cuts to a lack of investment in social housing. This includes non-UK nationals who, thanks to a woeful lack of action from ministers, support services are often unable to help.