Increase in homelessness stats paints a bleak picture for those on London’s streets

New data was released today (31 January 2024) by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) which covers October to December 2023. In total, 4389 people were recorded as rough sleeping in London between October-December 2023, this is an increase of 23% on the same period last year. 

2283 people rough sleeping for the first time, a 34% increase on the same figure this time last year and with new rough sleepers accounting for 52% the total. 

560 people deemed to be living on the streets, 16% higher than the immediately preceding period (July-September)?and 24% higher year over year. 

1610 people were intermittently rough sleeping, 10% higher than the same period last year. 

Across November to January 2024, St Mungo’s responded to the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) across London, bringing hundreds of people in per night to safe accommodation and following up pathways of recovery, housing and health support to bring clients off the streets for good. 

With the bitter weather looming again for February, the organisation is calling for emergency support to be introduced, until Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are unfrozen in April. The Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) funding, due to end in a year’s time, should also be extended to offer some certainty against the backdrop of the homelessness crisis. 

These shocking stats come at a time where most Local Authorities are preparing their budgets for the new financial year, with Councils last week warning of a potential collapse due to the demand for temporary accommodation and homelessness prevention. Homelessness organisations are also facing similar challenges in keeping up with demand and this release serves as a stark reminder for renewed action from Government. 


Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, Emma Haddad, said: “Figures evidencing the picture of homelessness in our capital have once again seen a really worrying rise. This is not a surprise – our outreach teams across London have been inundated with new people arriving onto the streets. The shortage of affordable and appropriate housing is leaving far too many people vulnerable. We urge the Government to take measures that would halt the escalating numbers of people who are sleeping rough and having to spend their nights in the cold.” 

She continued: “Homelessness is preventable but St Mungo’s frontline workers are too often trying to help people out of the cold who didn’t need to end up there in the first place. We are calling for emergency support to get people into housing until Local Housing Allowance rates are unfrozen in April and, with the bitter weather looming again for February, we need a pause on evictions from Home Office asylum accommodation when the severe weather occurs.” 

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