UK’s cost of living crisis driving more people into homelessness
The number of people sleeping rough in London has increased by nearly a quarter, according to a new City Hall analysis.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned of a rough sleeping crisis as cost of living pressures increase.
Figures obtained by City Hall show that between April and September 5,712 people were sleeping rough in London, a 21% increase compared to last year.
The government has said it is committed to ending rough sleeping.
City Hall has suggested the rise has been caused by cost of living pressures, including increases in rents, energy bills and even borrowing costs.
Mr Khan praised the work of outreach workers, charity teams and council staff as "unsung heroes" for trying to help homeless people stay off the streets for good.
"We continue to see a revolving door of people ending up homeless as a result of this escalating cost of living crisis," he added.
"This cannot be allowed to continue, this new government must act now to prevent the circumstances that lead to people sleeping rough before thousands more are forced to face a winter on the streets."
The mayor said he had committed £36.6m from this year's budget to tackling homelessness, but he has called on the government to immediately freeze private sector rents.
In addition, he said he wanted to see an end to Section 21 evictions, which occur when a tenant misbehaves or the landlord wishes to stop renting.
Mr Khan also wants to see London's 32 councils better supported in services aimed at preventing and ending homelessness, including drug and alcohol treatments.
Homelessness charity St Mungo's has called for benefits to rise in line with inflation - something the government has not been able to comment on until Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn statement.