Why are thousands of homeless London children living ‘temporarily’ in council flats?

By Paul Coleman

 

Thousands of children and their families are living temporarily in council homes across London.

An estimated 6,530 homeless families with children live in either council or housing association-owned homes, according to government figures for the end of March 2019.*

Some of these homeless families have ‘temporarily’ lived in council properties across London for up to ten years.

However, many of these families will have to move out when these London council homes – built originally to house people permanently on secure tenancies – are demolished and ‘regenerated’ with new private homes that they will not be able to afford.

 

Council stock

Over 8,000 such homes owned by councils – and by housing associations – are being used to temporarily house homeless London households.

London Intelligence publishes below the numbers of homeless households living ‘temporarily’ in local council or housing authority stock in each London borough – and the number of such families with children.

  • Barking & Dagenham has 206 homeless households living ‘temporarily’ in local council or housing authority stock, of which 196 households have children.
  • Barnet: 810 homeless households ‘temporarily’ in local council or housing authority stock, of which 434 have children.
  • Bexley: no figures available.
  • Brent: 208 homeless families, 179 with children.
  • Bromley: 408 families, 320 with children.
  • Camden: 14 families, eight with children.
  • City of London: no families in temporary accommodation in council or housing association stock.
  • Croydon: 481 families, 399 with children.
  • Ealing: 212 families, none with children.
  • Enfield: no families in temporary accommodation in council or housing association stock.
  • Greenwich: 276 families, 239 with children.
  • Hackney: 583 – 481 with children.
  • Hammersmith & Fulham: 199 – 170 with children.
  • Haringey: 527 – 482 with children.
  • Harrow: no figures available.
  • Havering: 214 – 154 with children.
  • Hillingdon: 142 – 97 with children.
  • Hounslow: 137 – 119 with children.
  • Islington: 162 – 157 with children.
  • Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea: no figures available.
  • Lambeth: 207 families, 186 with children.
  • Lewisham: 320 –  299 with children.
  • Newham: 313 – 205 with children.
  • Redbridge: no figures available.
  • Richmond upon Thames: no families in temporary accommodation in council or housing association stock.
  • Southwark: 759 families, 688 with children.
  • Sutton: 304 families, 251 with children.
  • Tower Hamlets: 583 – 543 with children.
  • Waltham Forest: 232 – 191 with children.
  • Wandsworth: 589 – 530 with children.
  • Westminster: no families in temporary accommodation in council or housing association stock.

Over 88,000 children live in temporary accommodation** across London in 2019, almost enough children to fill Wembley Stadium.***

 

 

*Source: Households in temporary accommodation at end of quarter by local authority, England, January to March 2019, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

** This total includes homeless children living in bed and breakfast hotels, nightly private accommodation, hostels, privately owned units, local authority or housing association homes, and other private landlord homes.

*** Wembley Stadium has an official seating capacity of 90,000.

 

Other London Intelligence stories on London’s homeless children living in ‘temporary’ accommodation:

Charity chief speaks out about the “unbearable” plight of London’s 88,000 homeless children

Over 88,000 homeless London children live in temporary accommodation

Maria’s story: the human cost of ‘temporary’ housing

The tragic meaning of a raw statistic

© London Intelligence 2019

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