Khan pledges to wipe out rough sleeping in London by 2030 if re-elected

Sadiq Khan has pledged to wipe out rough sleeping in the capital by 2030 if he is re-elected as London mayor.

In a speech on Monday, the Labour incumbent will promise to end “once and for all” the “indignity, fear and isolation” felt by those enduring a life on the street.

Some £10 million – the biggest single intervention to tackle rough sleeping from City Hall on record – would be used to fund an expanded network of “ending homelessness hubs” under the plans, according to Mr Khan’s campaign.

The hubs are designed to help an extra 1,700 rough sleepers every year with rapid reassessment and rehousing.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will say it is time ‘to reject the notion that homelessness is some natural, stubborn feature of modern life that we have no option but to abide’ (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The mayor’s campaign has framed the May 2 vote as a “neck-and-neck” two-horse race between Labour and the Tory candidate Susan Hall, despite recent polling putting him on firm course for a historic third term.

On Monday, Labour will present the contest as a choice between “a mayor who is delivering a fairer London for all and the Tory candidate who has voted against free school meals for all state primary school pupils and Sadiq’s fares freeze”.

Conservative candidate for mayor of London Susan Hall
The mayor’s campaign has framed the May 2 vote as a ‘neck-and-neck’ two-horse race between Labour and the Tory candidate Susan Hall, pictured (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

A total of 4,389 people were recorded as sleeping rough in the capital between October and December, which is the highest quarterly figure since records began 10 years ago.

The data, from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain), also showed a record high for the number of people classed as “living on the streets”, which reached its highest ever quarterly level of 560.

Mr Khan’s latest announcement comes after the Conservative Government faced a backlash over plans to clamp down on “nuisance” rough sleepers in its Criminal Justice Bill.

Charities have voiced concerns that proposals to allow police to fine homeless people could see vulnerable women penalised for seeking shelter, while dozens of Tory backbenchers were expected to rebel against parts of the legislation.

Responding to Mr Khan’s announcement, Ms Hall said: “This is yet another promise that Sadiq Khan will fail to deliver, given his appalling record on housing.

“Sadiq Khan has only started building 4% of the affordable homes he promised in the latest programme, and it is his failure that has kept people stuck in temporary accommodation and made it harder to get rough sleepers off the streets.

“We cannot solve homelessness without solving the housing crisis, which is why I have pledged to build more family homes Londoners can afford.”

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