Half of Waltham Forest Council’s temporary housing placements are outside of the borough and many families placed there have small children.

Darren Welsh, the council’s director for housing and growth, even revealed “a few hundred” individuals had been placed in temporary housing outside of London.

The director was grilled by health professionals about the statistics at yesterday’s Health and Wellbeing board in Waltham Forest town hall.

Dr Tonia Myers, clinical director for Chingford, expressed her concern over the trends, particularly the moving of small children and vulnerable people out of the borough and away from schools, family and friends.

She said: “There is a tension there, between trying to settle people out of the borough and the need to maintain a family support network. What is the council doing about this?”

Mr Welsh explained that Waltham Forest are working with neighbouring boroughs on temporary housing demand, with Waltham Forest using accommodation in neighbouring boroughs and vice versa.

He added that importance was placed on transport links and vulnerability levels. Highly vulnerable individuals or families are prioritised for temporary housing in the borough.

For those placed out of borough, Mr Welsh said the council always aims to ensure good transport access back into the borough so individuals can reach their support networks.

He said: “We have a very clear process for assessing vulnerability, there is always a package of care wrapped around people placed out of borough.

“We appreciate we don’t get it right every time and we appreciate the feedback, but we can’t always offer people their desire.

“The pressures in London are so immense and we are taking on new housing providers every week. We do what we can.”

Other members of the meeting called for greater reassurances about the quality of temporary housing that Waltham Forest Council is placing people in, citing health implications of poor housing.

Mr Welsh said: “We have decommissioned providers in the past and have a rigorous process for accessing housing quality.

“We always act quickly once we’re aware of any problems.”

He added that the council’s aim was to get people out of temporary accommodation and get them settled into newly refurbished or brand new properties more permanently.