Counting bedrooms is a key solution to overcrowded households

11 March 2015

The Government should reconsider its plans to scrap a key survey question measuring housing overcrowding in the capital.

According to a full meeting of the London Assembly today, a 2011 Census found that more than one in ten London households are overcrowded (11.3 per cent), equating to 379,990 households.

Despite this, the Department for Communities and Local Government will no longer sponsor a question in the Integrated Household Survey relating to the number of bedrooms in a household. This means that annual overcrowding data at a borough level will no longer be available.

The Assembly agreed a motion calling on the Government to reconsider this decision, and the Mayor to lobby Government Ministers to support this.

Tom Copley AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“That over one in ten London households are now overcrowded is a shameful reminder of just how bad the capital’s housing crisis has become. The number of overcrowded families is an important indicator of the types of housing we need to be building.

“Instead of facing up to the fact we are not building enough new homes the Government has decided to stop counting overcrowding in a clear attempt to bury the problem. This will undermine our ability to ensure the housing we need is being built where we need it – potentially making the problem worse in the long run.”


Read the full text of the motion agreed at today’s meeting here.

Watch the meeting on the webcast.

Notes for Editors:

1. The motion was agreed 15 votes for to 3 against at a meeting of the full Assembly today.

2. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.