Up to 50 homeless families could be moved out of London because Harrow Borough Council can no longer afford to house them in temporary accommodation.

The council has announced it will be moving the families to more permanent homes in other parts of the country to save money.

It says it does not have enough stock to house people in the borough and keeping them in B&Bs costs the authority £1.4million a year.

Council cabinet member for housing Cllr Glen Hearnden said: “We just can’t afford to keep people in B&Bs and it just not suitable.

“We are facing big cuts over the coming years and we have to make plans how we can deal with people in emergency accommodation.

“It’s a horrible situation we are in at the moment but we have to do something. As a council we will do everything we can to help families find somewhere better suited and better than living in a B&B.

“We will be a sensitive as possible all the families we work with. The fact is, we have lost half our housing stock over the years due to government policies with people buying homes off us.”

The other part of the council’s plan is house people in empty council housing stock when it becomes available. It is estimated about 80 families will be part of this scheme.

Harrow Council has one of the smallest housing stocks in London, with fewer than 5,000 homes under authority control.

Cllr Hearnden added: “We do have plans for to build homes, but that takes time and we have to get processes in place now to help families who are made homeless.”

Earlier this year it was announced it would build 500 new homes including the total redevelopment of Grange Farm Estate on the border of South Harrow and Harrow-on-the-Hill, with the replacement of 240 ageing homes with 430 new properties.