Caritas Anchor House

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A huge surge of homelessness expected this summer across London

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A huge surge of homelessness expected this summer across London

25th May 2021
London currently faces the most severe homelessness crisis in the country. We’re seeing a “triple whammy” of upcoming risks, created by the pandemic, which threatens to push homelessness to record levels.

Last week, London Council released a statement about how London Boroughs are fearing a summer of soaring homelessness. With the eviction ban being lifted and the furlough scheme ending soon, many more people are expected to lose their jobs and homes. London currently has the highest unemployment level in the country at 7.2%, and in Newham, it is twice as high at 14%. Recent research from the London School of Economics suggests that 400,000 Londoners are in significant rent arrears and 130,000 people have been made unemployed due to the pandemic.

There is a perfect storm at play right now, as more people begin to lose their jobs, and support mechanism that were in place to protect people renting privately during the pandemic are unfortunately being taken away. The eviction ban will come to an end on the 31st May. This has been vital in protecting families who have been unable to pay rent due to job losses, through no fault of their own. No additional support has been announced for those renting to pay of their arrears, and to ensure they have somewhere safe to stay as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

The Government and local authorities across London stepped up during the pandemic; support around homelessness and rough sleeping was raised by £107 million and the ‘Everyone In’ scheme provided emergency accommodation for 2,659 people who were rough sleeping. Right now, as we face into this expected homelessness surge, action is needed to support those who need it most.

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House, said, “It’s coming to this crunch point with the eviction ban ending at the end of the month, the furlough scheme ending and uncertainty around funding. This is a horrible mixture and is going to lead to a huge surge in homelessness across London.

“We now have this once in a lifetime opportunity to effectively end rough sleeping in this country. It is an absolute outrage that anyone should be sleeping rough on the streets. We need to grasp this opportunity, as once it starts to slip and people start to disengage with services, it will be much harder to retrieve.”

Brother, who lives at Caritas Anchor House, said, “When I first started experiencing homelessness it felt terrible. Not knowing where I could sleep, eat or wash every single night. It was just constant uncertainty. I am much happier now I am here in Caritas Anchor House. This place has allowed me to pick up my life and manage my health condition.”

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