More than 50,000 families have been uprooted and silently shipped out of London, leaked official documents have revealed.

An investigation by i, the sister paper of, uncovered the true scale of the "social cleansing" taking place across the capital.

Problems arise when families cannot afford homes in their local area and are relocated by councils into other boroughs, creating a domino effect across London and beyond.

The unprecedented number of families being cut off from their relatives and support networks in this way coincides with the coalition government's introduction of the benefit cap and the so-called bedroom tax.

These charts show the true extent of the issue:

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of the homeless charity Shelter, commented:

It’s shocking to see in black and white the sheer volume of homeless families being uprooted and sent miles away from their local area.

It’s the housing shortage that has created this crisis, and the only way to escape it for good is for the next government to build the affordable homes we so desperately need.

A spokesman for London Councils said:

Boroughs aim to keep households as near as possible to their home borough where reasonably practicable. However, they are facing huge challenges in finding affordable temporary accommodation in the capital in the context of a very pressured property market and shortage of housing in London.

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