Councils are buying properties outside their boroughs

  • 1 Jul 2016

Councils are buying properties outside their boroughs to house their homeless because of rising prices in the capital, research by trade magazine Inside Housing has found.

Freedom of Information Act requests found seven boroughs had bought 168 properties over the last three years out of their areas.

Westminster bought the most properties (81) in places including Barking, Redbridge, Haringey, Romford, Chadwell Heath, Greenwich, East Ham, Newham and Enfield.

Wandsworth and Harrow had each bought 23 homes outside their boroughs in the period in areas such as Croydon, Mole Valley, Watford and Ealing.

A spokesperson for Harrow Council told Inside Housing that it has more than 300 families in emergency accommodation, which may have to move to the Home Counties because of “the London housing crisis and escalating prices of property”.

Boroughs including Enfield and Brent said they planned to buy hundreds more in the coming years.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for housing and housing regeneration, said: “We have found other London boroughs placing families in temporary accommodation in Enfield because it is cheaper than in their own borough.