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Homelessness acceptances by borough

Key points

  • Barking & Dagenham had the highest levels of homelessness in London with 9.9 homelessness acceptances for every 1,000 households (this is equivalent to 1% of households being accepted as homeless). The next highest boroughs are also in East London - Waltham Forest (8.8), Hackney (8.2) and Newham (7.9).
  • Though the Outer South tends to have quite low levels of homelessness acceptances, beyond this there is not a consistent geographical pattern. This could be because the operation of homeless duty varies from place to place - for example in Camden only 64 households were accepted as homeless in 2014/15 a rate of 0.6 per 1,000 households, much lower than its neighbouring boroughs of Islington (3.8), Barnet (4.9) and Westminster (5.6).
  • Levels of homelessness in London are more than double that in the rest of England. 5.1 households were accepted as homeless in London for every 1,000 households in 2014/15; in the rest of England the figure was 1.9.

Homelessness acceptances by borough

What does this graph show?

The graph shows how levels of homelessness vary within London. Barking & Dagenham had the highest levels of homelessness in London with 9.9 homelessness acceptances for every 1,000 households (this is equivalent to 1% of households being accepted as homeless). The next highest boroughs are also in East London - Waltham Forest (8.8), Hackney (8.2) and Newham (7.9).

Though the Outer South tends to have quite low levels of homelessness acceptances, beyond this there is not a consistent geographical pattern. This could be because the operation of homeless duty varies from place to place - for example in Camden only 64 households were accepted as homeless in 2014/15 a rate of 0.6 per 1,000 households, much lower than its neighbouring boroughs of Islington (3.8), Barnet (4.9) and Westminster (5.6).

However this low rate in Camden does not mean that a high number of households applied and were ineligible (it also had the lowest number of applications at 105). Local advice charities have emphasised that Camden has adopted a pathways approach and attempts to help potentially homeless families to find settled accommodation outside of the statutory approach. So while the graph shows levels of homelessness, it reflects borough procedures. High levels of homelessness mean that a large numbers of families are severely in need but also access help from their council through the homelessness duty. A low number could mean a lack of need, an alternative approach to meeting that need or that the need is going unmet.

Levels of homelessness in London are more than double that in the rest of England. 5.1 households were accepted as homeless in London for every 1,000 households in 2014/15; in the rest of England the figure was 1.9.

Data used

P1E Homelessness returns, DCLG; the data is for 2014/15

Indicator last updated: 19 October 2015