"They tell me I don't have any choice. They send me these letters saying I have to move. I can't sleep from the worry." –Amal
In a letter to the mayor seen by VICE, Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson condemned the rising incidences of children being uprooted from their schools, while their parents are separated from friends and families, and the vital support networks they provide. Johnson also lamented the worrying lack of oversight at council and Mayoral level. Over half of the boroughs failed to reply to the Green Party's FOI requests at all. "With such huge public concern about the impact of the welfare cuts," he wrote, "I find it astonishing that many boroughs aren't keeping an eye on the impact in their own local area."The problem is simple: without oversight—or at least, FOI compliance—it is impossible to gauge the true scale of the exodus. Some boroughs, like Tower Hamlets and Hackney, have provided answers one year, then failed to do so the next. Croydon and Westminster said it would be too expensive to answer the question, Kingston said it would be too complicated, and Newham, Redbridge, Harrow, and Lewisham are now months overdue in replying. Tower Hamlets managed an intricate, multi-layered excuse which said it was too complicated, and anyway they publish their own (impenetrable) data, and then finally that they thought about it, and decided it wasn't in the public interest to answer the FOI.Nevertheless, the data obtained by the Green Party and presented here by VICE makes it clear that the forced exodus of London's poor is not only happening, but worsening every year. The housing crisis will be a key issue in the general election, with "generation rent" a buzz-phrase on the lips of earnest politicians. But its greatest victims are already being submerged by the sham campaigns of property industry lobbyists and saturated by the navel-gazing of those in a position buy a house in Redbridge but not in Hackney. As ever, it is those at the bottom whose voices will go unheard.Amal's name has been changed.Follow Dan on Twitter.The issues raised in this article are explored more fully in VICE's brand new film, Regeneration Game—a documentary about the war to live in London that you should watch here.More from VICE's Election '15 coverage.