Enfield’s deepening family housing crisis

In November 2010, Enfield Council adopted its Core Strategy. The Core Strategy is an important document setting out the housing needs for Enfield for the years 2010-2025.  

The Core Policies and targets set out in the Core Strategy were based on years of extensive and detailed research and reflect Enfield’s housing needs.

There are now only five years left to run on the Core Strategy, so we analysed how Enfield has performed over the past 9-10 years.

Our analysis of 2010-2019 shows that Enfield is failing to meet some of the key Core Policy targets set out in its Core Strategy:

  • The target for homes with 3+ bedrooms was missed by 2,638 homes.
  • The target for social rent homes was missed by 991 homes.
  • The target for 1-2 bedroom homes was exceeded by 1,507 homes.

Enfield has not built enough affordable family homes and has built far too many smaller flats.

What’s the problem with this?

Under-supply of family housing drives up rent.  

Our analysis of the property market shows that:

  • Affordable properties to rent with 3+ bedrooms in Enfield are relatively scarce.
  • The cost of renting 3-bedroom homes has risen much faster in Enfield than in other Outer London boroughs.
  • The cost of renting a 3-bedroom home in Enfield has risen much faster than the cost of renting a 1-bedroom home.

There are similar indications in the purchasing market in Enfield.

  • Our analysis of purchase prices shows that the income ratios needed to buy a house have risen disproportionality compared to flats.
  • Research from Zoopla in October 2020 reported that there were not enough 3-bedroom homes in London to meet demand and that Enfield is one of the boroughs with the biggest shortfall of 3-bedrooom homes.

Rising cost of 3+ bed homes is pricing out families.

Many families in Enfield cannot afford the rising cost of a family sized home and as a result remain living in accommodation that is too small for them. 

Some families move away from the area in search of affordable family housing, which can mean leaving support networks, changing schools and longer commutes.

Rising costs mean that some families push their family finances to breaking point, which can lead to eviction and force families into emergency temporary accommodation.

Unfortunately, Enfield has one of the highest rates of temporary accommodation usage and overcrowding in the country.

Eventually, family homes will have to be built on greenbelt land.

Enfield has failed to make sure that enough family homes are being built on large brownfield sites, such as Meridian Water, Colosseum Park and Chase Farm. The under supply of family homes means that greenbelt land will be under increasing threat of development.

With 5 years to go, time is running out.

Not enough homes with 3+ bedrooms have been built in Enfield. As a result, Enfield will now need to build an average of 1,218 of these per year for the next six years, in order to meet the Core Policy housing targets. To put the scale of this challenge into context; this is 11x the number 3+ bedroom homes that Enfield normally builds.

In this analysis, we have shown that most of the homes built in Enfield between 2010-2019 were small flats. Our previous reports have shown that most of the housing due to be built over the coming years will also be small flats.

Enfield Council is a very long way off meeting the Core Policies and targets set out in its own Core Strategy. The consequences are extremely serious.

Time is running out.

Urgent action is needed to address Enfield’s deepening family housing crisis.  

Supporting slildes and analyis can be downloaded here

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