Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning, said: “London is the epicentre of the homelessness crisis. The combination of high housing costs and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on London’s economy means we face the highest homelessness rates in the country.
“Boroughs are doing all we can to support homeless Londoners but we need urgent action from the Government. Ministers must ensure the welfare system prevents homelessness from occurring in the first place and we need far more investment in affordable housing.”
More than 165,000 homeless Londoners live in temporary accommodation. This is more than the entire population of cities such as Norwich (143,000), Lancaster (146,000), or Oxford (152,400). The capital accounts for two-thirds of England’s total number of homeless households in temporary accommodation.
Boroughs are pushing for changes to national policy on welfare to improve support for Londoners struggling with housing costs. These include: an end to the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments to begin; restored government funding for councils’ local welfare assistance schemes supporting residents in financial crisis; and increased Discretionary Housing Payment funding.
London Councils also wants to see increased grant funding for affordable housing and an end to all restrictions on local authorities’ use of Right to Buy sales receipts so that every council house sold can be replaced by a new home for social rent.