London has had the biggest rise of rough sleepers in England, according to government figures, with an increase of 34% across a 12-month period.
According to the report by BBC News, an estimated 858 people slept rough in the capital on a single night in autumn 2022, compared to 640 the year before.
The government data found that rough sleeping had increased in every region of England year-on-year since 2020.
The government said figures were below pre-pandemic levels. But it added there was "more to do" to help those at risk.
The report found that almost half (47%) of people sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2022 were in London and the South East.
Under the metric, Westminster in London saw the biggest increase across England, with 250 rough sleepers - up by 63 from 187 in 2021.
Camden was the second highest, with a total of 90 rough sleepers in the 2022 report.
The City of London authority area had also increased by 23 people to 43 rough sleepers.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Labour, described the findings as "extremely alarming and further evidence of the devastating fallout from the cost-of-living crisis".
He said: "It is high time ministers got a grip on the escalating food, energy and housing crises and restored the social security safety net which helps stop people becoming trapped in a cycle of homelessness."
Rick Henderson, chief executive at Homeless Link, which is the national membership charity for frontline homelessness organisations, said the rise in rough sleepers in England of more than a quarter year-on-year since 2021 "is evidence of how the cost-of-living crisis has exacerbated long-standing drivers of homelessness".
This is an excerpt from an article published on the BBC News website on 1st March 2023
Image credit: Jessica Mulley on Flickr