Homelessness up by nearly a third in Brent in the last year before Covid struck

Homelessness up by 29% in Brent from April 2019 to March 2020. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

Homelessness up by 29% in Brent from April 2019 to March 2020. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA - Credit: PA

Rough sleeping in Brent has risen by 29 per cent compared to the previous year, new figures from the Greater London Authority (GLA) have revealed

Local London Assembly Member, Navin Shah, said that this could get “even worse” in the coming months without government action to further protect renters and support those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new data shows that between April 2019 and March 2020, 320 rough sleepers were recorded on the borough’s streets despite City Hall investing £19.2 million into tackling homelessness.

Across the capital the number of rough sleepers recorded in this period ballooned by a fifth to exceed 10,000.

During lockdown, the ‘Everyone In’ campaign, co-ordinated by the Mayor, local councils and the government, provided 4,000 homeless Londoners with emergency hotel accommodation.

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In March, No10 announced a temporary ban on evictions, which has now been extended to 23rd September.

City Hall has urged the government to take further measures to prevent another spike in homelessness coinciding with a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic this winter.

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These include strengthening protections for tenants in the private rented sector and increasing support for Londoners with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

Mr Shah, said: “These new figures show that rough sleeping isn’t getting better, despite all the warm words we’ve heard from the Government, it’s getting worse.

“We are facing a recession and a potential second wave of the pandemic, we need to act now to protect those who are vulnerable.

“The good news is that we have recently seen what can be done when the Government works collaboratively with the Mayor and local authorities on this issue. During lockdown, the ‘Everyone In’ scheme provided emergency accommodation to thousands of vulnerable Londoners.

“We cannot allow this positive momentum to be lost, and the Government now needs to put stronger protections in place to protect renters and dramatically increase support for those most at risk of ending up homeless, particularly those with No Recourse to Public Funds.”

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