A councillor has revealed Newham saw 500 new homelessness applications in a month, meaning 16 were being made on average every day.

Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday, February 16, Cllr Shaban Mohammed, cabinet member for housing services, said there were 500 new homelessness applications were made last month and warned it could jump to 1,150 more by the end of the 2022/23.

Cllr Mohammed said: “I think it’s unprecedented the amount of applications  we’re getting, we’ve currently got 5,858 residents in temporary accommodation [when] our figures for 2021/22 were 4,424.

“It’s a real supply issue and you know we could see up to 1,150 more applications by the end of this financial year.

He continued: “In January alone, we had 500 applications – for just January. Again it’s a pan-London issue and as a borough we are really trying to help support our residents.”

Cllr Mohammed told cabinet members that housing is currently “the number one issue” in Newham, before adding that unprecedented times has made it a real struggle for the borough.

“It’s not just Newham, it’s everywhere at the moment,” Cllr Mohammed warned.

Newham mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz praised Cllr Mohammed and the wider housing team’s work for being “in the eye of the storm” and that it hadn’t been easy for them.

Ms Fiaz told cabinet members: “I think there’s something profoundly concerning and unsustainable in a borough where 68pc of our resident population live in the private rented sector – where the majority of those landlords that own these properties don’t have a vested interest in Newham beyond generating income because they don’t live in the borough.

“We are an example of a very flawed housing sector in this country.”

Newham Council is forking out millions of pounds on temporary accommodation as more and more people in the private rented sector are being forced out due to soaring rents and mass evictions.

In December 2022, a council document revealed Newham has been experiencing a ‘perfect storm’ for homelessness. It currently has the highest number of people in temporary accommodation than any other London borough.