Brent set to have the most families living in temporary accommodation in London
PUBLISHED: 06:45 05 June 2015
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The housing crisis is set to deepen this year as 700 families are expected to become homeless, leaving Brent with more households in temporary accommodation than any other borough in London.
Submitting a damning report to Brent Council’s scrutiny committee, John Lloyd-Owen, Director of Housing, Regeneration and Growth at Brent Council revealed soaring private sector rents and pressure on Brent’s “limited” housing supply are driving around 50 families per week to apply for urgent temporary accommodation.
The report also reveals the 3,400 households in temporary accommodation, more than any other borough in London, are forcing the council to consider relocating the 5,100 families on its waiting list to housing in other London boroughs and “further afield”.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter said: “Behind these figures are millions of people stuck in expensive, insecure private renting and left languishing on waiting lists, losing hope of ever having a stable home to call their own.”
The figures show how 450 families, many of them working households, are set to become homeless after eviction from private rented accommodation in 2015.
Addressing councillors, Mr Lloyd-Owen said increasingly unaffordable rent across the borough, which now averages £1,250 per month, has also led to a surge in the number of “beds in sheds” and illegally overcrowded housing.
Councillor Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Regeneration and Housing said: “The benefit cap and an overheated housing market are having a direct impact in Brent. Eviction from private rented housing is now the biggest cause of homelessness and there are more people needing temporary emergency accommodation than ever.
“In response to this, we are working hard to prevent homelessness by continuing to provide advice and support.”
Members heard how welfare reforms, coupled with a dwindling supply of social housing, had hit 1,173 families in Brent as of January 2015, with many more families expected to be affected by the end of the year.
The revelations come after the Times reported that Brent Council slashed its waiting list in February from 17,580 to 5,102 after tightening its qualifying criteria.