More than half of Brent’s rough sleepers came from private rented accommodation, figures show

Lucas, a homeless man, in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Lucas, a homeless man, in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive - Credit: PA

Young people from Capital City Academy, working with media literacy charity The Student View, have looked at the latest data around rough sleeping. Here’s their report.

Almost six in every 10 homeless people in Brent came from privately rented accommodation before they were on the streets, new data reveals.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 58.2 per cent of people surveyed were paying rent to private landlords before they were first seen sleeping rough.

A total of 99 people were known to be sleeping on the streets of Brent in 2019.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent’s cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “Our priority is to protect anyone who is experiencing homelessness.

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“In Brent, our Single Homeless Prevention Service (SHPS) has been set up specifically to help individuals threatened with homelessness by working with them to either sustain their current home, or find them alternative accommodation.

“Anyone who is being threatened with eviction by their landlord can also contact our dedicated tenancy relations service.”

During the Covid-19 outbreak, councils and homeless charities have been tasked with making sure every rough sleeper in the capital has a roof over their heads.

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Brent Council has secured emergency accommodation during the crisis for more than 100 single people who were either rough sleeping or “sofa surfing” and at risk of sleeping rough.

A report, presented at a cabinet meeting on April 20, outlined how Brent Council has earmarked an extra £1 million per month over the next six months to help manage the crisis.

The council says the extra money will go towards emergency accommodation for homeless people as well as providing personal protection equipment to staff and other vital services.

The findings were sourced through a Freedom of Information Request by media literacy charity The Student View.

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