Number of rough sleepers in Newham up by almost 50 per cent in one year

PUBLISHED: 18:11 25 January 2017

Memorial Community Church in Plaistow is used as a place to bed down for the night by rough sleepers. Picture Ken Mears

Memorial Community Church in Plaistow is used as a place to bed down for the night by rough sleepers. Picture Ken Mears


Rough sleeping in the borough has increased by 46 per cent in just 12 months, according to government figures out today.

Housing charity Crisis warned rough sleeping was rising at an “appalling rate” as statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed rough sleeping had reached a three-year high in Newham, worsening particularly over the last year.

Some 41 people bedded down outside on a single night in autumn 2016, compared to 28 a year earlier.

Newham is facing an “increasing challenge” when it comes to the number of people rough sleeping, a council spokeswoman said.

“We are doing all we can to provide people with a solution,” she said. “We take a balanced approach, tackling the issue in an appropriate, humane and fair way, taking enforcement action when necessary.”

Council initiatives offered include an outreach service via homelessness charity Thames Reach “to locate and assess rough sleepers to see what assistance can be offered, in particular access to drug, alcohol and mental health services”.

Pan-London hostel accommodation, through the Mayor of London’s No Second Night Out initiative, and increased cold weather patrols have also been adopted by the local authority.

Keith Fernett, chief executive of homeless charity Caritas Anchor House, said he hoped better cross-working between organisations could be used to tackle the “real shortage of housing in London” and “diminution of services being offered”.

He said: “Let’s see if the council can work with local charities to minimise the impact in local communities.”

Local authorities’ counts and estimates from today’s DCLG figures show that 4,134 slept rough in England on a snapshot night in autumn 2016, up 16pc from 3,569 the year before.

The highest incidences of rough sleeping were recorded in Westminster.

Newham Council was awarded nearly £400,000 of government funding in December to support people sleeping rough to get off the streets and rebuild their lives, including support to find jobs.

It is hoped the money will aid vulnerable people at risk of becoming homeless, including through issues with their tenancy, the breakdown of a relationship, substance misuse or mental illness.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories

An Islamic State-inspired terrorist plotted attacks in the UK on a range of targets including Big Ben and the Queen’s Guard, a court heard.

Transport for London

A frail cancer patient who was badly beaten by thugs in East Ham has died more than four months after the attack.


Medical failings stretching back more than two decades cost the NHS trust which runs Newham University Hospital tens of millions of pounds a year.

Newham University Hospital
Yesterday, 18:17

A primary school in East Ham has banned pupils under the age of eight from wearing hijabs and encouraged parents not to make their children fast on school days.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now