Council finds people living in everything from massively overcrowded houses to a walk-in freezer – and the problem is getting worse...Converted sheds have become an increasingly mainstream – if illegal – part of the London property market. It's a logical development, given the explosion of property prices throughout the capital, and the huge shortage of supply. As central London becomes more expensive, people are pushed further out and rental prices even in Newham, which is the second most deprived borough in England and Wales, are rising fast.
Landlords are subdividing family homes into smaller and smaller units, haphazardly extending plumbing and electricity connections from the main properties into the garden sheds and garages, which they have no problem in renting out.
Newham's mayor, Sir Robin Wales, is dismayed. "It's big money. You get a few breeze blocks, sling up some crappy old shed in your back garden, and now you're making hundreds and hundreds of pounds a week. It doesn't take long for you to make a lot of money out of it, provided you are prepared to trade in human misery.
Life under the virtuous austerity program of David Cameron is working out to be much like the Victorian Era. They are back in recession. If the Republicans take over the national government in November, we can look forward to the same.