Monday, 02 March 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.’

Readers' comments (24)

  • Mr Reasonable

    Is he suggesting that Boris has a vasectomy?

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  • Gavin Rider

    Aren't statistics wonderful?

    Here is another statistic from the EHS. I am not making any statements on the back of it, unlike Shelter who are using an isolated statistic to try and make a point.

    "A quarter (25%) of all ethnic minority households lived in the private rented sector compared to 14% of white households. Only 8% of Indian households were social renters. Black households were much more likely to be social renters, 45% of black Caribbean and 47% of black African households lived in the social rented sector."

    By now, I can imagine one or two of the usual contributors are getting ready to hurl insults about racism in my direction, but I reiterate - all I have done is copy a section from the EHS and pasted it here for people to consider.

    I have done this deliberately, not to make a racist point but simply to show that there is probably something of deeper significance behind the statistics than the chosen statistics alone convey.

    Food for thought.

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  • The family are at fault for allowing overcrowding to happen--statutory overcrowding as defined by the Public Health Act is an offence by the occupier allowing the premises to become overcrowded--when will the Local authorities start tp prosecute such illegal behaviour ?!--I am being a little provocative here as in social housing to get a transfer to larger accommodation you need to have the extra children first BUT--if an owner occupier cannot afford to buy a larger property they will often limit the size of their family--why doesn't this apply generally at a time of world over-population ?
    People should expect everyone else to pay for their increasing families--they should take some responsibility themselves

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  • Above comment -last sentence should read "..People shouldn't expect everyone else to pay for their increasing families !!

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  • * +

    OK, so we can probably all agree that overcrowding is bad news....but, how about some ideas for a solution? I don't suppose there is the available land to embark upon a huge housebuilding project of 3 & 4 bedroom homes in the capital.
    In the past there have been opportunities for people to be moved out of cities thanks to mass building programmes....but guess what? we have the same problem all over again.

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  • I agree with Rayleigh that the family are at fault for allowing overcrowding to happen--statutory overcrowding as defined by the Public Health Act is an offence by the occupier allowing the premises to become overcrowded and they should be prosecuted. Sorry I do not believe the English Housing Survey. Due to the area I live in and I know my neighbour's very well and I am sorry the white british is a small group nowadays and the ethic group's in this area is the larger that british whites.

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  • I am a tenant of a two bedroomed flaot and live alone now that my choldren have left home. I would happily move to one bedromed flat and have registered with my landlords downsizing scheme which offers a payment of £300 plus removal costs and some other expenses. However, any suitable properties that have been available for me to bid on have had rents that are considerably higher than my current rent. As a working, but low paid tenant, I simply can't afford to pay a great deal more than at present. Perhaps L & Q assume that all downsizers will be in receipt of housing benefit and unconcerned about rent levels. The high rents demanded work in favour of benefit recipients and against working tenants.
    If landlords really are committed to freeing up underoccupied homes they should ensure that tenants do not have to pay, more for less, when they downsize. I would welcome a reply from L& Q but think it unlikely that they will reply publicly.

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  • Wall - you cant really make an informed conclusion about whether the survey is right or wrong by looking outside your window. There is more to life out there than whats happening in your area; I am the only ethnic minority in my area. Surely that isnt representative of the whole of the UK.
    Overcrowding is one thing and drawing unfounded conclusions based on information obtained after a walk to your local is another.

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  • Linsday Green what area do you live in please

    Sanele Mhlanga I've lived in a number of area over the years and our Survey Reports proof the case. No I not allowed to put one or some on this website due to the facts its under areas by Ward's/Patch's/Estate's and covered by Data Protection Act. if Housing Association/Social Landlord told the truth you would see with your own eyes that Ethic Community are the group's that is overcrowded and due to them putting themselves in this position. Some believe its they right to bring mother's, father's and grandparents to this country. Alllowing them to live in that home whether Rented or Social Housing making themselves overcrowded. Which is illegal and people should be prosecuted.

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  • The picture seems a tad misleading in that, I think this is a one bedroom flat for a single person from the council and was not intended for a family? (It is from your previous campaigns ?)

    Then after the person had settled in, the children have come to live with him due to his partner/ wife no longer wanting them to live with her, due to whatever circumstances and now they may claim that they live in overcrowded conditions.

    This I feel type of overcrowding priority is disingenuous with respect to indigenous people with larger families who are to waiting for a larger house but maybe deemed less of a priority, when already on a waiting list.

    Here is part of a quote from the ..yes..the Daily Mail 13thJuly 2011 ........”Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said the increase ( of migrants to settle in the UK) was largely down to family members coming to stay with those already in Britain, and the large number of foreign students living here”

    Where are all these people going to live?

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