"Ground Zero” for London’s Housing Crisis: Southwark 3rd highest proportion of households in Temporary Accommodation in London as Lib Dems call for urgent action

16 May 2024
Tooley Street offices
  • 3741 Households in Temporary Accommodation in latest homelessness figures – up 6% compared to same period last year 
  • 53% of Households in Temporary Accommodation have children 
  • Spending spirals from £4.8 million in 2017/18 to £20 million in 2023/4 

The latest quarterly homelessness statistics from the Government have again confirmed the scale of London’s housing crisis, with thousands left with no option but to seek emergency accommodation from the council. The Newsagents podcast branded the situation in Peckham as “ground zero” of the crisis, with a local school seeing most of its children in temporary accommodation.  

This comes as Southwark’s social housing waiting list hit a new high of 17,700 households. 

The shortage of temporary housing has also pushed costs up – with spend spiralling from £4.8 million in 2017/18 to £20 million in 2023/2024 according to internal requests by the Liberal Democrats. The majority of temporary accommodation is now outside of Southwark, leaving households separated from their support networks. 

Analysis by the Trust for London also revealed that Southwark has the 3rd highest proportion of households in temporary accommodation in London, and 5 times higher than the rest of England. 

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Cllr Rachel Bentley said:  

“These distressing statistics are the end result of what we’re seeing with soaring private rents and a critical lack of social housing. The number of families with children forced into these situations is nothing short of scandalous. Behind every statistic is a family at crisis point - it quite simply cannot go on for any longer.   

This is the disaster the Tories have left in their wake after crashing the economy and sending the cost of living through the roof. But Southwark Labour also need to take responsibility for this housing crisis they’ve presided over locally.” 


Contact Euan Cadzow Webb on 07858372451 for more information.    


  • DLUHC data can be found here 
  • Newsagents podcast here, with BBC coverage of Harris Academy here 
  • Trust for London Analysis here 

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