Families needing emergency housing were placed almost 30 miles outside Greenwich last year as the number of homeless households rocketed.

Households were moved out as far as Havering, Redbridge and Newham last year as the council dealt with increasing numbers of families needing help.

In 2018, 619 households were given emergency overnight shelter outside of Greenwich, an increase on the previous 12 months.

Most people were housed in Bexley, Dartford or Lewisham, but there were 48 occasions when people were accommodated as far out as Medway, 28 miles away.

One household was sheltered in Islington, with others in Hackney, Basildon and Maidstone.

The number being placed inside the borough was a lot less at 370  which, according to a new report, is partially down to other councils using accommodation in Greenwich.

“As other local authorities have also experienced a high demand for accommodation they have sourced accommodation within Greenwich, as this is more cost-effective then procuring this in other more expensive areas,” officers said.

“In doing so, they have not only restricted the supply of accommodation for use by Greenwich Council but are often paying above the Local Housing Allowance rate, escalating the cost of this type accommodation.

“This has resulted in the council sometimes having to pay more for accommodation it is able to secure in Greenwich.”

The council said it is reviewing cases and ensuring households are moved out of emergency accommodation.

“We continue to purchase street properties for the use of temporary accommodation, to allow more families to access accommodation within the borough,” the report explains.

“For those who are owed a rehousing duty, we are continuing to ensure that either households are moved into private rented sector accommodation, or are bidding regularly for social housing.

“Where bids are not being made, we will bid on behalf of the household or a direct offer will be made, with particular focus on those households residing out of the borough.”

The figures are set to be discussed at a meeting of the council’s cabinet next Wednesday, January 23.