Councils shifting more than 2,000 families a year out of London

Three months alone accounted for 524 placements – set against an overall trend towards leaving London by choice.

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Councils are sending homeless families out of the capital to cheaper properties at the rate of more than 2,000 a year, new figures show.

In April, May and June this year, London boroughs made 524 placements outside of the capital – including two families moved 280 miles north to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sunderland, another two families to Merseyside, five to Bradford in West Yorkshire and 32 to the West Midlands.

More than 200 families were sent to Kent and almost 100 to Essex, according to data from London Councils.

Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ executive member for housing, said finding cheap enough housing for tenants in the capital was increasingly difficult.

“London boroughs are under pressure to find homes for a growing number of vulnerable people – there are more than 50,000 households living in temporary accommodation in the capital.”

The plight of the capital’s homeless families is set against an overall trend towards moving out of London and its unaffordable housing market  – with 292,000 people leaving in the year to the middle of 2016.

Brighton and Birmingham proved particularly popular escape routes – each seeing their populations swollen by a combined 12,100 London incomers last year.

Other top destinations included Bristol, which welcomed 4,210 people from London, and Manchester which attracted 4,150 incomers from the capital.

Most, though, stayed relatively close to home – and within commuting distance – to relocate in the home counties.

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