London council committee to consider tighter rules on encampment locations

A city council committee is being asked to endorse a plan with updated rules and regulations around London’s 61 homeless encampments.  The Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee is set to discuss a newly proposed community encampment response plan from London’s Health and Homelessness Whole of Community System Response. It includes suggestions on rules around health and safety, locations and protocols for rapid forced closures.

“Preventing injury, illness, and loss of life for people living in encampments and people that live or work near encampments is critically important,” reads the report.  “While even a single tent can present risks to be addressed, anytime there is a concentration of tents in a single space, the risk factors are even greater. More needs to be done in a co-ordinated fashion across various entities to define risks, inspect hazards, and offer plans to address and mitigate concerns.”  

The plan recommends health and safety representatives visiting encampments assess them for risks such as: 

  • Open fires or unsafe fires 
  • Declining health and potential spread of infectious diseases 
  • Using the encampment for storing stolen equipment 
  • Unsafely disrupting pedestrian, bicycle or motor vehicle traffic 
  • Significant degradation of the natural environment (e.g., chopping down trees) 
  • Acts of violence causing serious bodily harm between or to occupants
  • Human trafficking or exploitative sex work at the encampment 
  • Drug manufacturing or drug dealing out of the encampment 

If the health and safety team deems the encampment high risk, a rapid forced closure will be carried out by the Co-ordinated Informed Response by-law team. The report defines “rapid” as a closure within no more than 24 hours, except for when there are serious and health safety concerns that could place people at risk without a timely response. 

Read the full story on CBC:

Scroll to Top