Homelessness is costing Greenwich tax payers 30 per cent more than it was three years ago, new figures show.

Greenwich Council is battling a housing epidemic that is facing much of the capital with new stats showing increasing numbers of people waiting for a home.

Figures released through a Freedom of Information act request show trends being mirrored throughout London.

The council is spending nearly £2m more on homelessness than it was in 2015.

Last year, £8m was dedicated to homelessness, compared to £6.1m in 2015/16.


Homelessness is costing Bexley taxpayers 200 per cent more than it was five years ago

Cllr Chris Kirby, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are in the grip of a nationwide housing crisis.

“In Greenwich alone we have more than 19,000 households on our waiting list and over 800 families living in temporary accommodation. We do let 1200 council homes a year but demand hugely outweighs supply.

“This is hardly surprising after decades of Right to Buy has obliterated the number of council homes we have available.

“On top of this the Government has added a decade of austerity and cuts to benefits.

“The only way out of the crisis is to build genuinely affordable, social-rented homes that people deserve. After being prevented from doing this the council now has the power to build again.

“We’ve secured £32m from the Mayor’s Building Council Homes for Londoners fund, and have raised significantly more than this ourselves so we can embark on an ambitious building programme – including 750 new council homes and 300 new homes at affordable rent to start on site by 2022.”

In the same period, households in temporary accommodation have increased 168 per cent, with the housing waiting list surging up 24 per cent.

In 2015, there were an average of 15,390 people on the housing waiting list, a figure that has since climbed year on year to 19,116 in 2019.

The number of rough sleepers has fluctuated since 2015, ranging from 113 to 91 a year.


'He yawned, smiled, and passed away': Bexley mum preserves son's legacy with new charity

In nearby Bexley, homelessness is costing more than 200 per cent than it was five years ago.

Last year alone, the council pumped £8.9m into combating homelessness, up 242 per cent from £2.6m in 2015/16.

In figures released through the Freedom of Information act, it is also revealed that there were 1,381 families in temporary accommodation at the end of last year.

The figures show a year on year increase, and a big surge from 828 in 2016.

The number of rough sleepers in the borough remains low, and dropped last year from 16 to five.