Local Councils in London are increasingly resorting to moving poor homeless families out of London, because they can’t afford to meet their housing needs within London. In most cases they’re being moved to Kent and Essex, but in sometimes moves are made much further afield:
What the map above shows is the literal relocation of the poor – shifting poverty out of London and into poorer parts of the country. It’s the real life version of what happened at the end of ‘People Just do Nothing’.
The main cause: the high price of housing in the capital, fuelled by 30 years of cheap mortgages and foreign speculative investment on property in London.
The negative consequences for the poor
At the very least these families are being removed from all of their local social connections and having their children’s schooling disrupted, but in some cases they suffer much worse: cramped housing conditions and being housed in the same block of flats as ex criminals, as the recent case study of Terminus House suggests….
Various London councils have housed hundreds of poor recently-made homeless Londoners at Terminus House in Harlow, Essex, several miles outside of London.
The building is a 1960s 14 story, former office block converted into flats and run by the private company Caridon Property since April 2018.
The problem is that the complex is also home to several ex-offenders, including at least 25 people recently released from prison, and it’s something of a crime hot-spot, with high levels of anti-social behaviour, burglary and criminal damage.
Police figures show that in the first 10 months after people moved in, crime within Terminus House itself rose by 45%, and within by 20% within a 500m radius of the property.
Relevance to A-level sociology
This strikes me as a great example of how the poor in London are the victims of local council policies (not defined as illegal of course) – they get moved out from their local areas, and then are more likely to become the victims of crime. It illustrates perfectly how the poor are more likely to be victims of social injustice and crime than the rich!