Homelessness acceptances by borough

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 12 October 2017

Homelessness acceptances by borough

What does this chart show?

Although the levels of homelessness in London were more than double those in the rest of England, at 5 per 1,000 households compared with 2 per 1,000 in 2016/17, this varies considerably by London borough by year. Newham is the only borough with a rate over 10 per 1,000 households in 2016/17. Factors likely to be driving this phenomenon in Newham include the high proportion of families with children receiving housing benefit living in the private rental sector, and rapidly rising rents in the borough over the past five years (median rents rose 45% between the beginning of 2012 and 2016, the third highest increase in London). 

In 2015/16, Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham both also had rates above 10 per 1,000 households. Despite a large decline in the number of households they accepted as homeless over the past year in both boroughs, they still have some of the highest rates in London (8 and 7 acceptances per 1,000 households respectively). At the other end, Camden and Merton both have homelessness acceptance rates of less than the average for England outside London. 

Part of this variation can be explained by borough specific approaches, both by the local authority and homelessness charities. Changing local housing market conditions (such as rapidly rising rents at the bottom of the market, gentrification, and other local authorities competing for affordable temporary accommodation) probably also contributes.