New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

New CHAIN figures released today show a reduction in new people coming onto the streets

New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

We welcome the publication of the Quarter 3 2021/2 CHAIN (Combined Homelessness and Information Network) figures by the Greater London Authority today.   The figures cover the months September to December 2021, and show a slow but welcome reduction in the overall numbers of people sleeping rough across London in the quarter, 11% down on the same period last year.

However, within this headline figure we see a worrying rise in the number of people experiencing rough sleeping in the long-term (19% increase on last year, and 16% higher than the previous quarter), defined in the report as ‘People Living on the Streets’.  The factors behind this rise are complex, but include the lack of options for people with unclear immigration status, difficulties in accessing suitable health and drug and alcohol services, as well as a shortage of supported accommodation spaces for people with complex needs.

This increase in people who are sleeping rough long-term further highlights the importance of targeted prevention and early intervention aimed at those at risk of street homelessness.  In the work we do, there is clear evidence that support at an early stage helps prevent the devastating experience and impact of rough sleeping on an individual’s health and future well-being. Providing support at this level as well as helping an individual to find and stay in suitable accommodation is how we will keep working to reduce the numbers we see in today’s report.

The report is available to read online here.