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East Ham – The Constituency With The Worst Housing Crisis

'For the majority of residents in East Ham constituency, renting is their only choice because the dream of home ownership is unrealistic', says Rokhsana Fiaz (Alamy)

Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham

3 min read

Across every part of our borough, we continue to put residents first in our journey to build a fairer Newham despite the cost of living crisis, delivering and campaigning for fairer outcomes for every resident regardless of their background and circumstances.

This includes campaigning to address the crisis in housing facing our residents, where over half of households live in the private rented sector; and building more social rent council homes as we confront the reality of a waiting list of more than 37,000 people.

In Newham, renting is the largest housing tenure and we have the largest number of private landlords anywhere in the country. Households renting in Newham include many families with children: 58 percent of children under 10 years old live in the private rented sector in Newham. As well as this, one in five households in our borough are overcrowded.

For the majority of residents in East Ham constituency, renting is their only choice because the dream of home ownership is unrealistic; household incomes remain stubbornly below the London average with families and children facing a precarious future because of poverty and the cost of living crisis.

Poverty and the high cost of housing are driving the housing crisis in Newham. Households in Newham are disproportionately likely to be on low incomes, with 50 per cent of children living in poverty. 

Let me illustrate this starkly: average monthly rent in East Ham for a three-bedroom property is £1,824. Contrast this with the average annual household income of £19,465 – compared to the London average of £29,362 – and you can see the reality. 

The freeze in Local Housing Allowance means that only one in 10 homes in the private rented sector in Newham is affordable for anyone on housing benefit. Even a household where two parents are working and have one child plus a joint income of £60,000 annually is struggling in the face of the cost of living crisis.

Rents have soared and housing supply has contracted by some 47 per cent in the past 12 months alone: the largest contraction of private rented homes available anywhere in London.

This means that more and more families are turning to Newham Council because they can’t afford the hike in rents and have become homeless. Around one in 22 people in Newham is a member of a household which is homeless; this is the highest figure nationally.  

This has placed huge pressures on us financially and the money we spend on temporary accommodation is rising exponentially. 

That is why we campaign for rent caps in London and for the government to end no fault Section 21 evictions, because there are urgent improvements needed to properly regulate the private rented sector.

The only real solution to addressing the housing crisis impacting too many households in Newham, in London and across the country is a credible national social housing build programme which places councils at the heart of home ownership and housing delivery and a renters’ rights charter to protect those living in the private sector. The current broken system is not sustainable.

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