Local authorities in London have bought properties across the country, to re-house homeless families from the capital, according to a survey by The Guardian.
Rental properties have been bought in Kent, Essex, Hertforshire, and Berkshire, to house some ofLondon’s homeless; with more property purchases being considered as far away as Manchester, Hull, Derby, Nottingham, Birmingham and Merthyr Tydfil.
The properties have been purchased in preparation for next April’s welfare cuts which could see a rapid increase in homeless figures.
However, The Guardian reports that the policy flies in the face of draft Government guidance, which states that local authorities must “as far as is reasonably practicable” offer accommodation for homeless families within their own boundaries.
Twenty-nine of London’s local authorities responded to The Guardian’s survey; with 17 stating they were already placing homeless families outside the capital, or had secured, or were considering temporary accommodation outsideLondon for future use.
Already, a trend of migration from inner to outerLondonboroughs has been reported; with families looking to move to areas like Haringey, WalthamForest, and Barking & Dagenham.
Local authorities are also reporting that whilst poorer families are moving out of the inner London boroughs, rents continue to remain high, thanks to continued demand for private rented property. Such is the demand for private rented property that some landlords will no longer consider renting to people on housing benefit, claim some local authorities.