The number of people on Ealing Council's housing waiting list has rocketed by 150 per cent in five years - more than three times the London average.
New research shows the figures leapt from 8,269 households in 2002 to 20,653 last year as the borough struggled to meet the rising demand for social housing.
The sharp increase is highlighted in a report by the National Housing Federation London, which says housing associations and councils are not doing enough to cope with the 'devastating' scale of housing needs across London.
A further spike is expected in Ealing's waiting list over the next 12 months as more families struggle to cope with severe economic conditions. The council has admitted that 94 per cent of people on the list have almost no chance of being given a home.
Federation head Belinda Porich said: "Last year housing associations increased the number of social homes they produced by more than a third to nearly 11,500. But it's not enough to tackle the devastating scale of Londoners' housing needs. In the same period over 15,000 more families were accepted as homeless by London councils.
"With unemployment and repossessions on the rise, we can expect another spike in the numbers of households turning to the social housing sector for help over the next 12 months.
"It is critical we increase the capacity of housing associations to deal with the fallout from a struggling economy."
The report also reveals that buying a home remains impossible for many people in Ealing. In 2007 the average property price was £330,000, which at the time would require a combined income of £90,000 to afford a mortgage - yet the average income in the borough last year was £24,000.
The council's housing leader, Will Brooks, said: "This report highlights one of the major challenges facing this borough and should be of no surprise considering what the council has been saying over the past couple of years.
"Demand for housing considerably outstrips supply and despite the borough meeting social housing targets, this continues. Increasing the supply of social and affordable housing remains a key priority in every development in the borough."
And Darrell Mercer, chief executive of housing association A2 Dominion Group, said: "The waiting list is not going to be reduced overnight, but in order to make progress longterm commitment is needed from us, other housing organisations, local authorities and the wider community."