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A child in every London classroom is homeless, new analysis finds ahead of Budget


A child in every London classroom is homeless, new analysis finds ahead of Budget


ne in every 23 children in London is homeless, new figures suggest, as the Chancellor faces calls to tackle the issue in Wednesday’s Spring Budget.

The analysis by London Councils suggests there are now 166,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation, some 81,000 of whom are children.

According to the analysis, the number of Londoners making homelessness presentations increased by 18 per cent in November 2022 compared to the same month the year before.

The cross-party group which represents London’s boroughs called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to announce targeted measures in the Budget to tackle London’s housing crisis.

Among the measures the Chancellor is being urged to unveil is to increase Local Housing Allowance rates, used to calculate entitlements to housing benefit to help pay private sector rents.

The Government froze the rate in April 2020, despite surging rents since then.

Previously unpublished research, conducted by Savills and Rightmove on behalf of London Councils found that only 4.2 per cent of London properties were affordable to those relying on LHA in 2022, a dramatic fall from 18.7 per cent of properties that were affordable through LHA in 2020-21.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, of London Councils, said: “London’s homelessness crisis is getting even worse. The toxic combination of cost-of-living pressures and the chronic shortage of affordable housing means more and more Londoners – especially families with kids – are ending up homeless.

“The situation is unsustainable. Homelessness has a devastating impact on those who experience it, and it also leads to massive costs to councils and the wider public sector.

“We need urgent action from the government. The Chancellor must use the Budget to boost support for struggling households and to help us deliver the affordable homes London’s communities are desperate to see.”

The group is also calling for the Chancellor to increase Discretionary Housing Payments, used by councils to help residents in financial crisis meet their housing costs and to give councils “complete flexibility” with Right to Buy sales receipts.

Under current rules, much of the money generated by council house sales under Right to Buy are directed towards the Treasury.

The analysis is based on survey responses from 28 London councils covering homelessness stats for November and December 2022, with estimated figures for the remaining boroughs based on the average yearly increase in homelessness for December 2021.

The Standard has contacted the Treasury for comment.

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