New figures show that more than a quarter of rough-sleepers on London’s streets are from Eastern European countries that joined the EU in the past ten years.
Figures reported by the Daily Mail state that 28 percent of the capital’s homeless come from Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
At the start of the year, immigration restrictions on people from Romania and Bulgaria were lifted, leading to fears of a further influx of immigrants from those countries. Although the numbers haven’t been as high as some were expecting, these figures show that there is already a sizeable population in the UK who are having trouble finding work and a home.
A report accompanying the data release said: “Case work statistics by the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (Chain) found migrants sleeping rough in the capital were most likely to be Poles, accounting for one in every ten people sleeping outdoors. That was followed by Romania, with 8 per cent, and Lithuania, with 3 per cent.
“In sum more than half the capital’s rough sleepers were from overseas, figures showed.”
The report says that rough sleepers are defined as people who are “about to bed down … or actually bedded down in the open air”. They include people sleeping on the streets, in tents, parks or bus shelters, and people sleeping in building not designed for human habitation, such as barns, stairwells and public buildings.
The report’s definition excludes people in homeless shelters and hostels, and squatters, travellers, people on protests and people at campsites.