Barnet is the 4th Worst Borough in London for homelessness. This is becoming a bigger issue now, and you do notice the number of new people on the street.
I hope this shock will lead to a serious re-think on housing. There are thousands of people on the housing waiting list in Barnet, and as every Councillor with dozens of housing cases on the books knows, there simply isn't enough housing around. Now obviously, you have to fund and plan responsibly for any new housing, and take local factors into consideration. But I was alarmed by the figures from the 1st Quarter monitoring report that came from Budget and Performance last night, which said the Council were not meeting their deadlines on housing temporary accommodation tenants in 26 weeks, not meeting their housebuilding targets.
I myself have had a really tough housing case this week which laid bare many of the issues.
Nationally too, I fear that drives against welfare may make the homelessness situation worse. Cuts in benefits, replacing Council Tax Benefit (and making everyone pay, regardless of ability), the housing benefit cap and others will put more pressure on housing and housing costs. The Government must examine the impact of their policies properly.
UPDATE: You can see the list here: https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/download/LBOI/Data/LBOI_02.01_12_09_V1.xls#%27Table