Residents' views sought on homelessness

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The number of people who approached Tower Hamlets Council as homeless or at risk of homelessness rose by 25.6 per cent in the first quarter of last year, compared to the same period the year before.

Government data shows that from April to June 2023, 624 people presented as homeless or at risk of being homeless. This compares to 497 people between April and June 2022.

Families and friends being no longer willing or able to put someone up in their home was the most common reason for homelessness. The end of a private or social rented tenancy and domestic abuse were other main causes.

Tower Hamlets Council is carrying out a public consultation about homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough this month. People are being asked what they think about six key priorities that will lead the Council’s efforts to tackle this growing social issue.

These are:

  • Working with people earlier to prevent them from becoming homeless and to reduce the use of temporary accommodation
  • Provide good quality accommodation for people who are at risk of, or where they become, homeless
  • Improve customer service and the individual’s experience
  • Making sure that people have access to the right support services
  • To try to prevent rough sleeping but where it does occur, it’s rare, brief and doesn’t happen again
  • Boost staff resilience and well-being

The Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said:

“It breaks my heart that we are seeing more and more people presenting as homeless in Tower Hamlets. The picture is the same across London and as a council, we are doing all we can amid a severe housing crisis.

“The council has always put emphasis on working to tackle homelessness and the causes of homelessness. We must update our priorities to make sure they are effective in today’s day and we welcome input from our residents and the wider community.

“I encourage everyone to take part in the survey. It will not take much of your time and you will be giving back to some of our most vulnerable families.”

Residents can complete the survey online at before the closing date of 12 April 2024. Printed and translated copies in Bengali and Somali languages are available at Idea Stores on request, please speak to a member of staff.

Posted on Friday 15th March 2024