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Old 31-01-2019, 05:30 PM   #30
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Exclamation 320,000 people now live on the street that we know about

LONDON: Homelessness in London has gone up by 300 per cent over an eight-year period, according to government data published on Thursday (Jan 31) that revealed a full-blown crisis fuelled by housing shortages and spiralling rents. Almost 1,300 people sleep every night in the streets of the capital - the epicentre of a growing problem that is finally pushing local and national authorities to action as temperatures plunge in the city.

Homeless deaths are frequent - one in late December at Westminster Underground station captured national headlines because it was in the shadow of parliament. Some 320,000 people now live on the street or in emergency accommodation nationwide, according to the charity Shelter. Most were driven out of their homes by unaffordable rent, rather than by a life event, said the charity."If you are on a very low income and you need welfare support to be able to pay your rent. When the rent goes up, it becomes very difficult," Jon Sparkes, CEO at fellow charity Crisis, told AFP.

The charities blame the government's social and housing policy for exacerbating the problem."We choose whether we invest in social homes, we choose whether we invest in the welfare system to support people out of homelessness," said Sparkes.Overseeing an austerity programme implemented in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the government has cut tens of billions of pounds from social programmes.
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