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Homelessness in England soars by 26%: official

London mayor calls for govt help as homelessness jumps
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The number of homeless people in England soared by more than a quarter last year on fallout from the cost-of-living crisis triggered by soaring inflation, official data showed Tuesday.

A total 3,069 people were recorded as sleeping “rough” on a single night in autumn 2022, according to an annual count undertaken by local authorities and published by the government.

It marked the first increase since 2017 and a 26-percent jump from 2021, the department for housing said in a statement.

The total is over three quarters greater than in 2010, when the first government homelessness census was launched.

There were fewer people sleeping on the streets in 2020 and 2021 thanks to temporary measures to house the homeless during the height of the Covid pandemic.

Rick Henderson, head of the charity Homeless Link, called last year’s increase “shocking” and urged the government to boost funding in its budget due March 15.

“The 26-percent rise is evidence of how the cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated long-standing drivers of homelessness, such as a shortage of affordable housing, an often punitive welfare system and increasingly stretched health services,” he said.

“At the same time continuing financial pressures mean hundreds of homelessness services across the country are on the brink of closing down, risking leaving people experiencing homelessness with nowhere to turn.”

Homelessness was seen across all regions of England but was most acute in London, where 858 people were found sleeping rough during the census.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged the government to “urgently increase support” for the homeless.

The survey counted the number of homeless people sleeping or about to sleep in locations such as tents and make-shift shelters.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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