Since the Coalition came to power in 2010, rough sleeping has increased dramatically. In London alone rough sleeping has increased by 79%.
An independent study, The Homelessness Monitor 2015, reports “Welfare reform, benefit cuts and a chronic shortage of affordable homes mean more and more people are coming to their council as homeless. But as the law stands, far too often when single people ask for help, they are turned away to sleep on the street.”
The study reports:
- Welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax contributed to an 18% rise in repossession actions by social landlords in 2013-14.
- Housing benefit cuts played a large part in the 1/3 of all cases of homelessness last year caused by landlords ending a private rental tenancy, and made it harder for those who lost their home to be rehoused.
- Over half of London’s rough sleepers are foreign nationals
Victoria Silsbury, Legal Clerk, says “I am very concerned to see such a dramatic increase in the number of rough sleepers in England. It is clear the coalition welfare reforms are not effective and a new strategy needs to be considered to tackle this growing crisis.”