LONDON (Reuters) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan mentioned on Thursday his workplace will contribute 15 million kilos ($21 million) to a fund aiming to offer a whole bunch of houses at decreased rents to tough sleepers.
Homelessness is a power drawback in London: final yr there have been over eight,000 sleeping tough in a metropolis the place home costs are effectively above the nationwide common.
The subject hit the headlines final month when a neighborhood politician within the city of Windsor close to London provoked controversy by calling for aggressive beggars to be cleared from the streets earlier than the marriage there of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May.
“The scale of homelessness in our capital is shocking and we are doing everything we can to tackle it,” Khan mentioned in a press release.
The scheme will purchase round 330 non-public properties and shall be administered by homelessness charity St Mungo’s and Resonance, an funding agency with a give attention to social points.
The London boroughs of Westminster, Croydon and Lambeth are offering one other 45 million kilos to the scheme, and the fund has a goal of 100 million kilos in whole.
The variety of tough sleepers between October and December in 2017 was down 7 p.c in comparison with the yr earlier than, the mayor’s workplace mentioned.
But Khan, a member of the opposition Labour Party, added that the Conservative nationwide government ought to do extra.
“They must fully fund services to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming so, and tackle the long-term causes of homelessness including by investing more in social housing and reconsidering many of their changes to the welfare system,” he mentioned.
Britain’s division for housing, communities and native government was not instantly out there for remark.
Reporting by Alistair Smout; modifying by Stephen Addison