Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall
The cost of housing is pushing children into poverty

The cost of housing is pushing children into poverty

Runaway housing costs in the capital are massively pushing up the number of children living in poverty official statistics showed recently.

Official measurements of child poverty, which exclude housing costs, suggest that in London some 300,000 children live in poverty. When you add in housing costs however the number rockets by 400,000 – meaning almost a quarter of a million children in London condemned to live in poverty.

 

Over the last four years the typical rent in London rose by 17%, in real money that’s about £2,500 extra people who have to shell out every year and a major cause of the problem.

 

In 1999 the Government set itself the challenge of eradicating child poverty by 2020. The sad reality is that child poverty remains far from extinct, particularly in London where housing costs are spiralling. It’s clear that by not taking housing costs into account, the official child poverty figures show only the tip of the iceberg.

 

What we need is real action to tackle the housing crisis in London – including better regulations of private landlords, a massive drive to increase house building and investing more in affordable housing. Otherwise, as the child poverty figures show, it’s not just those struggling to get on the housing ladder that will suffer.