News that rising rents are forcing more people to rely on housing benefit to keep them in homes near jobs and schools came at around the same time that our attention was drawn to Trust for London’s data on income inequality in London’s boroughs.
It’s not particularly new (and the information itself is based on pay data from 2006) but it’s interesting to peruse. They’ve looked at which wards are in the 10% poorest and richest in London and made a graph. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Richmond, for example, has 13 of the richest wards in the capital and none of the poorest, while Newham has 12 of the poorest and Barking and Dagenham 11.
What’s perhaps more interesting are the divided boroughs. Haringey has five of the poorest wards but also four of the wealthiest; Tower Hamlets has four of the poorest and two of the wealthiest wards. Even Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham have one poor ward each. Combine this with rising rents and you can see that in the most divided boroughs, people in low paying jobs will have very little choice about where to live (we’re assuming a correlation between wealthier areas and high housing costs), entrenching poverty in certain places. Housing information tends to stop at the borough level so it’s useful to get a bit more detail of what’s happening on an even more local level.
At least we can end on a slightly more positive note: Lambeth (one of the wealthiest wards, none of the poorest) will tonight declare themselves a Living Wage council.