London young people sleeping rough up a third since last general election


The number of young people seen sleeping rough in London is almost a third higher than it was at the time of the last election, increase from 287 to 375 (31%). The number seen is at its highest peak since the pandemic.

This is a greater increase than older rough sleepers – though those numbers are up too, from 3,637 to 4,389.

This analysis from Centrepoint uses information about people seen rough sleeping by outreach teams in London, derived from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN), a multi-agency database recording information about rough sleepers and the wider street population in London. The report is which is commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by Homeless Link.

Alicia Walker, Centrepoint’s Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns, said:

“Not only will the government break its manifesto pledge of ending rough sleeping – things are actually getting worse. That’s no more evident than in London, where rough sleeping has now increased by a third since the last general election. Our research, together with the sheer volume of calls to our Helpline, strongly suggests the same is happening elsewhere.

“It’s vital when looking at these figures we remember that, behind them, are real people struggling to survive. The extreme weather going into Christmas means that hundreds of people will have literally been risking their lives by staying on the streets at a time when ministers were focusing more on criminalising them than helping them.

“This is not good enough. Ministers talk a good game when it comes to investment – but it is clearly too little too late. The piecemeal funding to councils and charities over the last parliament has failed to keep people off the streets and decisions to end the eviction ban and cut benefits seem to have done nothing but increase the flow of people forced to sleep rough past the point where authorities can cope.”