The number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in Hounslow leapt by more than 10 per cent last month as the recession deepened.
A total of 3,503 residents signed on during January, more than 300 up from the previous month.
The alarming figures were highlighted in a report by Civic Centre chiefs looking at what can be done to help residents and businesses weather the economic storm.
Among the options being considered is a 'Mortgage Rescue' scheme, under which the council's housing arm Hounslow Homes would buy properties from struggling homeowners and rent them back at a reduced rate.
But the report's author, council leader Peter Thompson, said the initiative was of 'limited benefit' and could prove costly as there would be no additional funding from central government.
Figures also show the number of mortgage repossession claims at Brentford County Court actually falling by a third to 156 during the final quarter of last year, compared with the same period in 2007.
The report, which was due to be discussed at Tuesday night's executive meeting, says an expected rise in burglaries and arson, more suicide attempts and heart attacks and an increase in fly-tipping could all put council coffers under greater strain.
It also warns that a number of housing schemes are at risk of falling through as building costs rise and house prices continue to plummet.
It says developers are seeking to include a greater proportion of 'shared ownership' properties, which are part-funded by housing associations, despite 120 such 'affordable homes' in the borough lying empty.
Regeneration schemes in Convent Way, Heston, and Beavers Lane, Hounslow, are also in danger as housing chiefs seek to plug a combined funding gap of about £2 million.
The report looks at what can be done to help struggling traders, several of which have already gone under, such as advertising council contracts in local sources only.
It admits that increases in business rates, which are set centrally, have made them 'unaffordable' for many high street firms.
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