Croydon North MP Steve Reed calls on council to get a grip on housing situation
Homeless families from outside Croydon are being given emergency accommodation despite a lack of housing within the borough.
Around 25 families have been placed in Croydon by Epsom and Ewell Council, which is unable to house their homeless residents.
Croydon is also currently suffering from a housing crisis.
As of January 2013, Croydon Council had placed 61 households in emergency accommodation outside of the borough.
A council spokesman said families were placed in Lewisham, Lambeth, Redbridge, Camden, Waltham Forest, Hounslow and Newham.
Epsom Council said from February the average stay for families with children or expecting children in emergency accommodation was 13 weeks.
Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, said he was amazed families from other boroughs were being sent to Croydon and called for council intervention.
He said: “There’s already a desperate shorting of housing in Croydon.
“The council has been forcing large numbers of homeless people to live in sub-standard, squalid bed-and-breakfast accommodation as a result, while other families are left to live in overcrowded homes.
He added: “I am astonished to hear other councils are sending their homeless people into our area.
“Croydon Council really needs to get a grip on this situation and co-ordinate better with other councils so that people can be housed closer to where they are from where they have friends and family who can help support them.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council's Labour group, said he was deeply disturbed but not surprised.
He said: “It is deeply disturbing to hear of rich councils such as Epsom placing their vulnerable families here in Croydon.
“All of this is against a backdrop of a government that has slashed funding for new council housing and, until that situation changes, issues like this will continue to occur."
A Croydon Council spokesman said they could not prevent other councils from placing families in the borough.
He said families who present themselves as homeless often need emergency accommodation at very short notice, sometimes within hours.
The spokesman added: “Local authorities have a duty to make accommodation available for homeless persons and typically go to the private market to obtain accommodation.”