Third of homeless Londoners moved out of their boroughs

A third of homeless families in temporary accommodation in London have been moved outside of their boroughs, according to new figures.

A Freedom of Information request showed 47,137 households were being housed temporarily by 32 local authorities from March to August 2015.

Around a third of them – 15,795 households – were placed outside the boroughs responsible for housing them.  London Councils said authorities were “in the midst of a housing crisis”.

Kensington and Chelsea and Waltham Forest councils both housed more than two thirds of temporary households outside their borders. Meanwhile, Hammersmith & Fulham housed homeless people in 28 other London boroughs, and Wandsworth housed people in 26 other parts of London.

Naomi Emmanuel, 24, and her two-year-old daughter Kira are among the more than 30,000 households with children who are in temporary accommodation across the capital. The fashion graduate and former nursery nurse ended up homeless after her mother died.

She said she was moved five times over two years between three different London boroughs – an experience which was unsettling for her toddler and also prevented her from holding down a job.

“I had to take her out of nursery with a day’s warning. I had to quit a job with a day’s warning,” she said. “If I could afford private renting I would definitely have done that instead of being placed wherever the council feels like placing us. I like being in control of my own life which is why I worked and studied to be in control of my future. It’s unnerving, having to wait for a letter to find out where we’re going to be moved.”

According to the Freedom of Information responses, 25 of 31 councils moved homeless households to other parts of the South East. Eight councils moved people into temporary accommodation in the Midlands and the north of England, the figures showed.


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