London councils spread their stock to combat social housing demands

London councils spread their stock to combat social housing demands

It is no secret that the capital’s housing crunch is reaching crisis point, with many social housing tenants finding that there are simply not enough properties available to meet the demands.

However, a recent Freedom of Information Act requested by Inside Housing magazine has revealed that several London councils are buying properties outside of their own boroughs to house their homeless, in order to combat rising prices.

168 properties across seven London boroughs have been purchased over the past three years - Westminster is the biggest buyer, with 81 properties being purchased in areas including Barking, Redbridge, Haringey, Romford, Chadwell Heath, Greenwich, East Ham, Newham and Enfield.

Wandsworth and Harrow each bought 23 homes outside their boroughs in locations including Croydon, Mole Valley, Watford and Ealing.

A spokesperson from Harrow Council told Inside Housing magazine that they are expecting to have to move families to the Home Counties because of the pressure that the borough faces to house families in emergency accommodation. There are currently more than 300 families in emergency accommodation in the area, and the escalating cost of property in London means that it is impossible for the council to fund properties within the council’s boundaries.

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