Wednesday, 01 April 2015

Overcrowding up 27% in social housing

The number of children living in overcrowded homes in the social rented sector has risen 27 per cent, according to figures from Shelter.

The housing charity has analysed data from the English Housing Survey. Looking at the three year average figures, it found there were 254,000 children living in overcrowded social housing in the capital in 2007/08 to 2009/10, up from 200,000 in the three years from 2005/06 to 2007/08.

The overall rise across all tenures is 18 per cent, meaning 24 per cent of children in the capital – 391,000 individuals – are now living in overcrowded homes. In the social rented sector, 43 per cent of homes are now overcrowded.

Shelter released the figures today to coincide with the launch of a film aimed at London mayor Boris Johnson. ‘A question for Mr. Johnson’ features London school children talking about the impact overcrowding is having on their lives.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: ‘There’s no doubt that overcrowding is London’s hidden housing crisis. Behind closed doors, hundreds of thousands of children are suffering in cramped conditions that are doing lasting damage to their education and wellbeing.  It’s shocking to think that in the 21st century this is a problem that is getting worse.

‘Simply put, unless more is urgently done to tackle overcrowding, many more London children will be robbed of a fair chance in life. We need to see bigger and bolder action from the mayor or we risk failing a whole generation of London children.’

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