EXCLUSIVE: Two hundred bedrooms, just 40 tenants – the shocking truth about overcrowding

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Shocking new figures released to Islington Now reveal that almost a fifth of five-bed houses owned by Islington Council have only one person in occupation.

Housing shortages in the capital mean that one in five of London’s children are living in overcrowded conditions. But data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 17 per cent of all five-bed council homes, and 26 per cent of all four-beds, in Islington have only one resident.

The figures on under-occupation have angered housing campaigners across the borough. “Tenants in council housing do have the right to lifetime tenure, but more funding for local authorities to provide incentives for people in under occupancy to move to smaller homes would be welcome, provided this is done sensitively,” a spokeswoman for homeless charity Shelter said.

“Ultimately, London urgently needs more new affordable, family sized homes to ensure that all Londoners can access a decent place to live.”The truth about Islington’s social housing policy was first revealed late last year, whose figures showed that the borough’s waiting list for council housing – currently running to 11,921 households – would take over eight years to clear at the current rate.

Islington Council was unable to comment on why under-occupation of council houses is so prevalent.