London’s rough sleepers an ‘absolute disgrace’

A London MP has said as he urged politicians to back major homelessness reforms, labelling the growing number of rough sleepers in the capital as an ‘absolute disgrace’.

The Evening Standard has reported that Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, is due to put forward a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons next month, with the aim of forcing councils to provide temporary accommodation for anyone eligible for assistance within 56 days.

Current legislation dictates that single parents, those recently departed the armed force, those with mental health issues and victims of domestic violence are prioritised for housing assistance.

Recent figures have shown a seven per cent increase in rough sleepers on the year before, with 8,096 people sleeping rough in the capital in 2015/16.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homeless charity Crisis, said: “The number of people rough sleeping in London is the highest in the country and for the first time in many years numbers are increasing in all parts of England. The biggest reason someone finds themselves homeless is the end of a private rented tenancy.”