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The Worst London Boroughs for Homelessness

Out of all the cities in the UK, London has the highest homeless population. In 2021, it was estimated that 165,000 Londoners were with no permanent home. Furthermore, this figure is most likely a lot more due to hidden homelessness. Another horrifying figure about homelessness in London is that it is estimated that 90,000 children are without a home. However, London’s homeless population is not spread evenly across all its boroughs; with 2 of the wealthiest boroughs in the UK being home to large homelessness populations. Below showcase the top 10 London boroughs in terms of homelessness.

A stereotypical view of West London is that it’s the most widely affluent region of London. With soaring house prices, large townhouses, designer clothing stores and lush well-kept parks; West London is home to some of the richest UK citizens. Home to areas such as Chelsea, Chiswick, Ealing, Notting Hill, Richmond and South Kensington – West London is often romanticised in media as a posh utopia. However, when looking at the statistics for homelessness in 2021 – we can see a different side to West London and especially the Ealing borough.

Although Ealing is one of the most up-and-coming boroughs (accelerated with the development of the Elizabeth line), it is the 7th worst borough in terms of homelessness. It is estimated that on any given night in Ealing there are over 2000 adults in temporary housing and 250+ sleeping rough.

In 2016, St Mungo’s outreach project in Ealing found that 60% of those found rough sleeping were not able to access public funds or receive benefits due to their immigration status. This could be due to Ealing being one of the most culturally diverse areas of London. Southall, a large area of Ealing, is often referred to as ‘Little India’ due to its vast and dense Indian population. Although rich in culture, Southall is noted by St Mungo’s as being the area with the largest homeless population. This in turn makes sense when noting that a large proportion (42%) of those surveyed in Ealing were from an Indian background and over half of them couldn’t access housing benefits due to their immigration status.

It is not only Ealing that has a large homelessness problem, Kensington & Chelsea holds almost identical statistics with 2000+ adults without home and 2500+ children. This highlights that even if an area is world-renowned for its wealth and rich aesthetic, this does not prevent people slipping through the gaps and ending up without a roof over their head. West London’s homelessness problem is similar in ways to that of Los Angeles, California. West London and Los Angeles are both known for their celebrity population, immense wealth and media portrayal of ‘the good life’. However, it is often the most affluent areas that are home to the largest inequalities in wealth.

I hope this post highlights that there are people in desperate need just on our doorsteps. Our mission at Yes It’s Possible is to help those who are ready to get off the street and piece their lives back together. We help in all ways we can – either helping with the basics (clothing, food etc) or help them in more complex ways (training, getting them into work, helping with benefits). We pride ourselves in being open and inclusive and doing all we can to those that need the help.

If you live in the Ealing borough and want to help us on our mission, please consider donating to us. You can donate money via our website or if you want to donate clothing, supplies, phones, food – please get in contact and we can arrange a way to receive your generous donation.

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