Rough sleepers in London reach a record high.
Figures point to growing urgency of delivering affordable homes across the UK.
It’s incredibly alarming to see that there is almost twice the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets than 10 years ago and 3% more rough sleepers in London compared to last year, according to figures published by Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain). While shocking, these statistics are not wholly surprising given the financial impact the pandemic has had on families and individuals across the UK. In fact, a reported 130,000 households were made homeless in England in the first year of the pandemic alone.
An enduring shortage of affordable housing has exacerbated this, but climbing house prices are also making safe accommodation increasingly unattainable. In fact, 68% of letting agents reported that landlords had raised their rents in May this year, while house prices have risen at their fastest rate in 17 years.
While disheartening, these findings must serve as watershed moment for the UK to commit change. Greater London and local authorities across the country must be supported to provide access to temporary and move-on accommodation for those who need it.
But as David Searle, COO of HSPG recently told MyLondon, “we must not lose sight of the bigger picture – demand for housing is already estimated to outstrip supply by 1 million homes in the UK, and so the housing industry, central and local government and the third sector must work quickly and collaboratively to help address this need for good.”
The risk of homelessness is only increasing, and decisive action to solve the problem is more urgent than ever.
At HSPG, we have multiple strategies to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing in England and Wales. We invest in new affordable housing projects, supported housing solutions and partner with social housing and local authorities to manage units for homeless families and individuals.