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The Number Of People Sleeping On London Streets Record high 12,000

The number of people sleeping on the streets of London has hit a record high of nearly 12,000.

Latest figures showed Thursday, as the impact of the UK’s cost-of-living crisis bites.

Britain, the world’s sixth-biggest economy, saw decades-high inflation in 2023 and a shortage of affordable rental properties over recent years.

Some 11,993 people were seen rough-sleeping in the capital in the year to March — up 58 percent in a decade and the highest number recorded in a single year, according to Homeless Link, the body for groups dealing with homelessness in England.

In 2013-14, the number of people sleeping on the streets stood at 7,581.

Homeless Link chief executive Rick Henderson called the figures “appalling” and said the government that comes out of a July 4 general election should form a cross-party plan to tackle the problem.

He said “genuinely affordable and secure homes” need to be delivered quickly with properly-funded services to “help people address the root causes of their destitution and move on from rough sleeping for good”.

At a medical centre for the homeless in east London, the demand for services had “definitely… increased in the past couple of months”, said Mimi Hassan, an administrator at Health E1.

However, Hassan said she had not seen the issue raised enough by politicians during the election campaign. “We are helping as much as we can”, Hassan told AFP. “But how much can we do?”

UK nationals made up 45 percent of those sleeping rough, according to Homeless Link figures. Of the rest, nearly a third came from countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australasia, while about a quarter were from Europe.

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Homelessness charity Crisis said the overall figures were “deeply shameful and highlight the desperate need for the next government to get a grip on this crisis”.

Charities and campaigners have long called for a government commitment to build 90,000 social rent homes a year.

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