The borough of Barking & Dagenham has benefited from significant inward investment over recent years which has improved the standard of the local environment and quality of housing. Housing is still usually in the form of low-rise council terraces with fewer than average owner-occupied houses and significantly lower incomes than the London average. In a recent govenment survey in which residents were questioned on their satisfaction with the area in which they live, poor old Barking and Dagenham in east London finished at the bottom of the class with an approval rating of just 56.6% compared to a national average of 80%. Respondents were asked about issues affecting their quality of life including council services, antisocial behaviour and local amenities.
Barking and Dagenham is a small outer London borough which lies in the east of outer London. It is still one of the most industrial parts of the capital and consists largely of Council-owned housing estates. Much of the industry and buildings were built up in the 1920s alongside the growth of the Ford Car Plant in the area.