London poverty report: 220,000 overcrowded households in London
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government
The number of overcrowded households in London has risen sharply in the last decade, a report on poverty has revealed.
The London Poverty Profile report - commissioned by the Trust for London - shows that 220,000 households are now living in overcrowded accommodation. This represents an increase of 60,000 in the last 10 years.
Of those households living in overcrowded conditions, 100,000 of them are in social rented accommodation, a rise of 20,000 compared to the end of the 1990s, an increase of 25 per cent.
The report showed that housing is the main cause of poverty in the capital.
It said: “Housing costs largely explain why [London] has much higher levels of poverty than any other English region; but also recent changes to housing benefit policy now risk transforming the character of this great city.”
Taking account of housing costs, the poverty rate in London has reached 28 per cent compared to 22 per cent in the rest of England.
Beyond the current housing crisis, the report warns that “104,000 households in the capital will be affected by changes to the housing benefit system starting in 2011, which will mean their levels of benefit will no longer be sufficient to cover their rent".
The report also shows rising homelessness figures in the capital. The number of people found sleeping rough in London has risen in each of the last three years and in 2010 stood at 3,800.
Research shows that the poorest 50 per cent living in the capital have less than 5 per cent of financial or property wealth.
More encouraging figures, however, have also been reported. The proportion of households living in temporary accommodation has nearly halved since 2005 and child poverty has gone down.
But poor children in the capital are still more likely to lack everyday items than those outside London, the report says.
In response to the publication of the London Poverty Profile, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) said: “This valuable, in-depth report is the latest to spell out the extent and the depth of poverty facing London’s children.
“With over 600,000 children in poverty, the capital’s children have the worst start in life than children in any other region and many will never fully recover from the impact this will have on their childhoods and life chances. As London families get increasingly squeezed between rocketing living costs and stagnant or falling incomes, politicians cannot just stand by and watch.
“In particular, we need real action to stop the ranks of London’s working poor swelling even further. Better financial support for those on low wages, affordable childcare and better part time opportunities are essential so parents can have jobs they can raise a family on.”