Hackney revealed as third worst London borough for homelessness

Hackney's homelessness rate is one of the highest in London Pic: MJK23 via Flickr

Hackney’s homelessness rate is one of the highest in London Pic: MJK23 via Flickr

Hackney has one of the highest rates of homelessness in London despite providing more affordable homes than any other borough, new figures have revealed.

A report, compiled by the New Policy Institute (NPI) on behalf of the poverty charity Trust for London, found that 8.2 of every 1,000 households, or 902 households in real terms, in Hackney became homeless last year.

However, the London Poverty Profile found that the borough, along with Southwark, provided more affordable homes – 1,500 – than any other area in the capital.

The report, now in its fifth year, also found that Tower Hamlets had the second highest proportion of unemployed adults in London at 8.8 per cent.

Mubin Haq, director of policy and grants at Trust for London, said: “A record number of Londoners are in work, yet this has had little impact on the numbers living in poverty in the capital.

“Over two million are on a low income in London, with an increasing number in working families.

“Action is also needed on costs, particularly in relation to housing. The numbers of affordable homes being built is a fraction of what is needed.”

NPI assessed poverty in London boroughs using a range of different indicators, including housing, homelessness and unemployment.


The report showed an increase of 7,700 affordable homes per year in London in the last three years, 40 per cent below the 13,200 target set out in Mayor Boris Johnson’s 2011 London Plan.

The local authority with the lowest affordable home delivery was Redbridge, with 110 additional homes.

Local Housing Data Graph - Pic: London Poverty Profile

Local housing delivery in London Pic: London Poverty Profile

NPI senior researcher Hannah Aldridge, author of the report, explained that affordable starter homes, which start at £450,000, “won’t solve this problem”.

“London needs investment in more housing suitable for a range of families and incomes, and it needs greater powers to ensure private accommodation is of a good standard,” she explained.

Croydon had one of the highest number of landlord possession orders, meaning a landlord can immediately evict the tenant and possess their property, in London with 24 or more per 1,000 households last year.

Enfield, Haringey and Redbridge were the only other boroughs with 24 or more possession orders.

Lewisham had 18 to 21 possession orders per 1,000 households last year, while both Hackney and Tower Hamlets had 15 or less.


In terms of homelessness, Barking and Dagenham, at 9.9 households for every 1,000, and Waltham Forest at 8.8, were the only London boroughs to exceed Hackney’s score.

At 5.9 for every 1,000 households, Lewisham came second out of the EastLondonLines boroughs, with a total of 769 households accepted as homeless, with Croydon at 5.6 and Tower Hamlets at 5.1.

A household is classified as statutory homeless only if it is accepted by the council.

To qualify as statutory homeless, a household must prove it has a local connection to the area, are in priority need and are homeless unintentionally.

The report indicates that 5.1 for every 1,000 households became homeless in London last year.

That figure was 1.9 for the rest of England


Tower Hamlets, Croydon, Lewisham and Hackney all featured within the top 10 London boroughs with the highest unemployment ratio among working-age adults last year.

Tower Hamlets was second only to Barking and Dagenham, which had 9.8 per cent. 

Croydon came seventh with 7.3 per cent, with Hackney ninth at 6.9 per cent and Lewisham 10th at 6.8 per cent. 

“Despite falls in economic inactivity, improvements in unemployment have been minimal or non-existent for many ethnic minorities,” the report said.

“The numbers of people on a temporary contract because they could not find permanent work is also at a high.”


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