Sharp rise in homelessness in Hammersmith

Now nearly 2,000 homeless households in the borough

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New figures revealed by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats show that the number of homeless households in the capital has increased sharply in the last five years.

Hammersmith and Fulham has recorded a 49% increase, above the London average, with the number of homeless households reaching almost 2,000.

In London as a whole the number of recorded homeless families has risen by over 18,000, from 48,867 in December 2000 to 66,977 in December 2004, an increase of 37.1%.

Alan Bullion, Parliamentary Spokesman for Hammersmith & Fulham, called the numbers scandalous saying, "Having permanent and decent shelter is the most basic of human rights. Even these figures are only the tip of the homelessness iceberg. They ignore single adults or the so-called ‘hidden homeless’ who have no certainty about where they will sleep."

He added that this huge increase in homelessness leads to long term social problems including poor health and loss of education and asked, "If we can put a man on the moon then why are ministers unable to bring empty homes in London back into use for those who need them most?"

Mr. Bullion urged the government not to lose sight of the fact that being homelessness is more than being roofless. The number of people in temporary accommodation has risen to what he described as intolerable levels and he said it is now time that the government addressed this trend with as much vigour as it tackled the rough sleeper problem.

October 6, 2010