Hidden homelessness in London

Start date: 08 March 2017
End date: 15 September 2017

We are investigating hidden homelessness and how it effects different people and communities. 

Watch: 'what does homelessness mean for the LGBT community’

Bob Green, CEO of Stonewallhousing tells us all about the struggle of the LGBT community in finding housing in London.

Our investigation

Figures show that over 57,750 households were accepted as homeless by local authorities in England in 2015/16 and over 8,000 people slept rough in London during the same period.

However, many more people experience what is termed ‘hidden homelessness’, sleeping on sofas at friends’ houses with no secure roof over their head that they can call home.

Often these people go uncounted by local authorities and homelessness charities, so the scale of the problem is not known. However a poll by Centrepoint in 2014 found that one in five 16 to 25 year olds had ‘sofa surfed’ in the past year, with 49 per cent spending over a month sofa surfing.

The Housing Committee is investigating the experiences of hidden homeless people in the capital, to try and understand its causes and what more could be done to tackle it.

 If you would be prepared to share your experience of hidden homelessness with the committee, or wish to raise an issue about it, please email HousingCommittee@london.gov.uk

Watch: Theresa, a PHD student between homes

Theresa, a PHD student between homes telling us about her struggle to find a place to stay.