News from Len Duvall OBE: Lewisham amongst worst Boroughs in England for Homelessness

16 November 2017

Responding to today’s report from Shelter which found that more than 300,000 people in Britain are homeless, with Lewisham ranked 12th in the worst 20 boroughs in England Local London Assembly Member, Len Duvall AM, said:

“Recently the National Audit Office warned that government welfare policies are directly contributing to the homelessness crisis. These appalling figures show that the Government has wilfully turned its back on those who’ve had the misfortune to find themselves homeless.

“With Lewisham needing over 2000 new homes a year to meet local need – and London in desperate need of more genuinely  - the Government cannot miss the opportunity at this year’s budget to hand the Mayor the funding to make this happen.

“Right now we’ve got a Prime Minister who has prioritised pumping £10 billion into Help to Buy, inflating house prices in the process, rather than committing the funding to build hundreds of thousands of much needed social rental homes. The need to pave the way for longer tenancies doesn’t even appear to be on the Government’s radar and they chose capping benefits over capping rent increases.

“The Mayor has pledged £9 million a year to tackle rough sleeping, but this must be matched by determined action from the Government to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing and abandon their punitive welfare cuts and caps.

“We know so much about the causes of homelessness, but if we don’t start applying the solutions this picture in places like Lewisham is only going to become even more bleak.”

Notes to editors


  • In September, a report from the National Audit Office criticised the government’s ‘light touch’ on dealing with homeslessness;
  • Research from Shelter shows that 307,000 people are homeless in Britain today (Shelter’s review combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation, and social services figures);
  • Research from Shelter, sets out the top 50 areas with the highest rates of recorded as homelessness. Only two boroughs in the top 20 are outside London:
  • Analysis from City Hall shows that Newham needs 2117 new homes each year to meet local need. The data can be found here;
  • Len Duvall AM is the London Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham

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