More than 120,000 children in England will be homeless this Christmas

Truly shocking

homeless child

by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Homeless charity Shelter have reported that 124,000 children in England will be homeless this Christmas.

The figures, which come from a report on homelessness in England by the Department for Communities and Local Government, shines a light on the staggering the number of children who will be living in temporary accommodation over the festive period.

The number of homeless children has risen 10% since last year. The data also shows that the number of families who are being housed illegally - i.e. have been provided with a long-term home within six weeks - has risen by more than 300% since 2014.

homeless child

Many of these families are being put into B&Bs by local authorities because there is just nowhere else for them to go.

Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, commented: "The latest figures show that councils are increasingly struggling to help homeless families.

"But the number of children placed in B&Bs illegally is truly shocking, and there's a worrying rise in families moved away from their support network to a new area. We know first-hand the devastating impact this can have on their lives."

homeless child

He went on to say that he blamed the "perfect storm" of welfare cuts and rent prices rising dramatically which, combined with a too small amount of social and affordable housing, was creating pressure for local authorities.

He said: "Councils know that neither option is acceptable but increasingly find themselves with no alternatives," he said. "Welfare cuts have made private rents unaffordable and that – combined with unpredictable rent rises and a lack of genuinely affordable homes - mean many families are struggling to get by.

"With the loss of private rented homes the single biggest cause of homelessness, it's no wonder that's so many families are turning to their council, desperate for help."

To find out more and donate to Shelter's appeal, click here.

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