Housing chief ‘outraged’ as number of rough sleepers in Hackney rises

Mayor Phil Glanville, left, joins councillors and volunteers on the count in November. Picture: Hack

Mayor Phil Glanville, left, joins councillors and volunteers on the count in November. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Archant

The number of people sleeping rough in Hackney has risen in the last year, according to official statistics – and the real figure could be a lot higher.

A “homeless count” in November saw volunteers, councillors and mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville take to the streets to record that there were 23 people sleeping on the streets.

That’s up from 18 in 2017, and only accounts for those who are actually sleeping, about to bed down or are bedded down. Homeless people in hostels or shelters aren’t counted, nor are those who are begging.

As the government releases the official figures today, Hackney’s housing chief Cllr Rebecca Rennison has hit out at the government for not doing all it can to solve the crisis.

“It is an outrage that in the 21st century we still have people sleeping rough on the street,” she said. “We are determined to do all we can to end rough sleeping in Hackney, through prevention work, hostel beds, a rough sleeper pathway, as well as The Greenhouse, which offers ongoing support and advice to anyone who needs it.

“However, we cannot do this on our own. This is a national problem which requires national solutions. From adequate funding for mental health, changes to welfare and action to address the housing crisis, we will continue to call on government to use its powers to make a difference.”

One way passers-by can help rough sleepers by getting in touch with Street Link who will help them access support services.

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People can also donate £3 towards homelessness charities at Tap London sites. In Hackney they are at Hackney Service Centre, the town hall and a host of businesses.

Find them here.

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