Number of people sleeping rough in Croydon on the rise

The Combined Homelessness and Information Network report says 155 people slept rough on the streets of Croydon last year. (Library picture)

The Combined Homelessness and Information Network report says 155 people slept rough on the streets of Croydon last year. (Library picture)

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

More than 150 people are living on the streets of Croydon a shocking report has revealed.

Figures released by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network state 155 people were living homeless and on the streets of the borough during 2013/14, a 520 per cent increase on the 25 in 2010/11.

The problem is not confined to Croydon and London boroughs must work together to tackle the capital’s rough sleeping crisis, according to Croydon and Sutton London Assembly member Steve O’Connell.

Sutton has experienced a huge increase in the same period, from three to 23 people, while Bromley increased from nine rough sleepers to 46.

Mr O’Connell said: "It needs a concerted approach as individual boroughs themselves cannot solve the problem on their own.

"Adjacent boroughs need to work together with the Greater London Authority and the Government for a long term fix."

The assembly member slept in Wallington high street for one night last winter.

He added: "These people have personal and health challenges and we need to look at the vulnerability and the plight of the individual people.

"We need to get them off the streets and support them."

A Croydon Council spokesman said it was already working with other boroughs.

He said: "We provide a rough sleeper outreach and verification service through Croydon Reach and Westminster Drug Project and hostel accommodation via South London YMCA.

"There is also a move-on service through CAYSH, a charity which supports young single homeless people, to access private rented accommodation.

"And we work with the new No Second Night Out hub in Lewisham and provide a service specifically to target and engage with Central and Eastern Europe nationals to enable them to exercise their rights, access accommodation and employment."

A Mayor of London spokeswoman said: "The Mayor is clear that every Londoner should have a place to call home, and reducing the pressure on London’s housing market is his top priority.

"This year, more low cost homes are being built than in any other since 1980, and the Mayor is on track to deliver 100,000 affordable homes over his two terms.

"In addition, City Hall is investing tens of millions and working closely with government, boroughs and the voluntary sector to make rough sleeping a thing of the past.

"The Mayor’s flagship No Second Night Out programme has made real progress with three out of four new rough sleepers spending just one night out.

"There has been a three quarter reduction in the most entrenched rough sleepers.

"And hostels across the city are being upgraded to ensure Londoners have a stable, supportive and rehabilitating environment to fall back on should they find themselves in difficulty.”

Why is the number of homeless people rising? Are you homeless? Contact the newsdesk on 020 8722 6350.

Comments (1)

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4:55pm Thu 21 Aug 14

christhegoth says...

The bedroom tax & Benefits Cap are forcing people out of the Centre of London and into places like Croydon.

If there is no room at the inn they end up on the street.

Our new Council need to fix this.
The bedroom tax & Benefits Cap are forcing people out of the Centre of London and into places like Croydon. If there is no room at the inn they end up on the street. Our new Council need to fix this. christhegoth
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