Accommodation and overcrowding in Tower Hamlets

So in my previous post, we found that Bangladeshi families appear to be less likely to leave the area (by measuring the drop off in the number of school age children) than non-Bangladeshi families.
Part of this I assume is the fact that Bangladeshi parents are proportionately more likely to have either a) been born in Tower Hamlets or b) if born overseas, appreciative of the cultural and community benefits of living in a large Bangladeshi community.
My supposition is that the large in and outflows of residents in Tower Hamlets (as shown here) are largely people not born in Tower Hamlets, and can broadly be labelled as economic migrants (I am one); when they come to Tower Hamlets they choose it for its location, and when there is cause to leave, there are few ties keeping them in Tower Hamlets.
However, there must be a tipping point that causes people in their thirties to leave and to take their children with them (I don’t think there is the option of leaving them).
Some different ways of thinking about the triggers of leaving versus the factors that make people stay.

1) Overcrowding

This chart shows the distribution of the number of people per room in St Kats and Wapping. A room is any room in the house other than the hall, stairs, landing or bathroom and toilet. If you are a couple, in a one bed flat with a kitchen and lounge, you would have 1.5 rooms each, or 0.66 people per room.
For this data, the ethnicity is of the person completing the census, but I will assume that by and large households are not ethnically mixed (I know this is not going to be the case in practice).
70 per cent of  properties in Wapping where an ethnic white British person (a ‘British’ household) completed the census have two rooms for each resident (0.5 persons per room). This would be the equivalent of a couple with a two bed flat with lounge and separate kitchen or a single person in a one bed flat with combined lounge-kitchen. However, this scenario is the case for only about 17 per cent of  Bangladeshi households.
If you take the proportion of properties where there is one room per person, it is about 98 per cent for ‘British’ households but only 65 per cent of Bangladeshi households.
Using data captured by the census on the relationships of residents and a magic formula the ONS calculates an occupancy rating based on how many surplus rooms (or a shortage) a household has (for example a couple only need one bedroom, flat sharers need 2, children of a certain age can share etc).
Over half of Bangladeshi properties are in need of at least one extra room on the basis of the number of people and their relationships. For White ‘British’ this proportion is only 20 per cent. You can see these figures from the size of the purple band. So, basically there are proportionately, two and half times as many Bangladeshi families that are in overcrowded circumstances compared to White ‘British’ families. Similarly, 40 per cent of White British households have at least one ‘additional’ room, but this is the case for less than 15 per cent of Bangladeshi families.
So if Bangladeshi families are overcrowded, why don’t they upsticks? In addition to the points raised above, I suspect the nature of accommodation may play a part.

Tenure of accommodation

In the chart below the red bars show the proportion of households by ethnicity by the nature of the housing (own/rent; public/private). Around  35 per cent of White ‘British’ households live in social housing in Wapping, but 70 per cent of Bangladeshi households do. I’m not an expert on the process of  a council or RSL tenant moving to another area and obtaining another council or RSL property, but I reckon it’s probably harder than handing in your notice and having a look on Rightmove.
I’m not saying that this is why there’s a difference in the propensity of people to leave Tower Hamlets, but it could be a significant factor; if your family’s income means you need social housing, you may be unwilling to take the risk of moving elsewhere. 

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