Opinion Former Article

NHF: Social housing waiting lists rise in 22 London boroughs - 880,000 people looking for a home across the capital

The number of Londoners on social housing waiting lists has risen again due to a chronic lack of affordable homes, the National Housing Federation said Tuesday (23 February 2010).

354,389 households, equal to 880,000 people, were on waiting lists in London on 1 April 2009 - an increase of 1,259 from 353,130 households on 1 April 2008.

Waiting lists rose in 22 London boroughs:

. Barking and Dagenham (up 567 households from 1 April 2008)
. Barnet (up 2,564)
. Bexley (309)
. Brent (1,351)
. Camden (1,416)
. Hackney (778)
. Hammersmith & Fulham (1,278)
. Haringey (958)
. Havering (1,513)
. Islington (610)
. Kensington and Chelsea (403)
. Kingston upon Thames (685)
. Lambeth (1,250)
. Lewisham (262)
. Newham (70)
. Redbridge (781)
. Richmond upon Thames (1,309)
. Southwark (1,200)
. Sutton (83)
. Tower Hamlets (1,099)
. Waltham Forest (4,686)
. Wandsworth (497)

Waiting lists fell in 11 London boroughs:

. Bromley (down 1,067 households from 1 April 2008)
. City of London (down 149)
. Croydon (-321)
. Ealing (-11,537)
. Enfield (-120)
. Greenwich (-5,584)
. Harrow (-510)
. Hillingdon (-1,378)
. Hounslow (-1,246)
. Merton (-379)
. Westminster (-119)

Belinda Porich, head of the Federation's London region, said: "There is a real danger that many people will simply give up hope of getting anywhere unless there is a dramatic increase in the number of new homes being built.

"Thousands of families on this list are stuck in overcrowded accommodation. London has the highest proportion of homeless families in the country and nearly 7% of households are overcrowded - more than 2.5 times the national rate.

"The capital is in desperate need of larger, good quality, affordable homes."

Nationally, a record 1.97 million households are expected to be on waiting lists by 2011 - twice as high as 2001 - or five million people.

The Federation warned last week that the number of new homes built in England and Wales in 2009/10 will slump to its lowest level since 1923 - fuelling fears that a chronic shortage of housing will leave millions of people trapped in overcrowded and substandard housing for a generation to come.

Federation chief executive David Orr said: "With record housing waiting lists and overcrowding reaching epidemic proportions in many places across the country, the need for more affordable housing has never been greater.

"The three main political parties must demonstrate their commitment to helping the millions of Britons in desperate need of an affordable home by pledging to safeguard investment in housing - and giving it the same priority as health, education and policing."

ends

Notes to editors

1) Belinda Porich is available for interview. For more information, please contact Brian Church on 0797 9592 823 or brianc@housing.org.uk

2) The National Housing Federation represents 350 housing associations in London, supporting and promoting their work across the capital and campaigning for better housing and neighbourhoods. Our members own and manage around 400,000 properties in the capital - providing a home to about 1 in 10 Londoners.

3) The figures are based on data provided by local authorities to the Department of Communities and Local Government. Waiting list figures for the London boroughs on 1 April 2009 were:

Borough Households on waiting list No. of people
on waiting list
Barking and Dagenham 11,411 28,527
Barnet 13,982 34,955
Bexley 6,489 16,222
Brent 21,737 54,342
Bromley 3,794 9,485
Camden 13,128 32,820
City of London 1,291 3,227
Croydon 9,723 24,307
Ealing 11,174 27,935
Enfield 6,258 15,645
Greenwich 7,902 19,755
Hackney 11,461 28,652
Hammersmith & Fulham 8,492 21,230
Haringey 16,053 40,132
Harrow 4,261 10,652
Havering 9,227 23,067
Hillingdon 6,797 16,992
Hounslow 10,088 25,220
Islington 11,921 29,802
Kensington and Chelsea 6,687 16,717
Kingston upon Thames 6,812 17,030
Lambeth 16,729 41,822
Lewisham 17,518 43,795
Merton 6,163 15,407
Newham 28,649 71,622
Redbridge 13,969 34,922
Richmond upon Thames 6,858 17,145
Southwark 9,804 24,510
Sutton 4,174 10,435
Tower Hamlets 19,681 49,202
Waltham Forest 14,341 35,852
Wandsworth 9,421 23,552
Westminster 8,394 20,985

Brian Church

Communications Officer
London Region
National Housing Federation

Tel: 020 7067 1042
Fax: 020 7067 1018
brianc@housing.org.uk

The National Housing Federation represents 350 housing associations in London, supporting and promoting their work across the capital and campaigning for better housing and neighbourhoods. Our members own and manage around 400,000 properties in the capital - providing a home to about 1 in 10 Londoners.

For more information please visit www.housing.org.uk/london

Housing associations are 'iN business for neighbourhoods'. They have made fresh commitments to neighbourhoods, customers and excellence. For more information see www.inbiz.org

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