Number of children trapped in temporary accommodation 'a national disgrace'

By Agencies
December 14, 2018

Commenting on the statutory homelessness figures for England for April to June, released on 13 December 2018 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “These figures reveal the stark reality of the homelessness crisis we are facing in this country – the fact that more than 120,000 children were living in temporary accommodation in June 2018 is quite simply a national disgrace.

“The number of households in temporary accommodation has increased by a staggering 71 per cent since the low of December 2010 – this is frankly unacceptable. That figure includes almost 7,000 households – including more than 2,500 families with children – being forced to live in bed and breakfast accommodation, which is highly unsuitable.

“It is still very early days for the Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into force in April, but it does appear to be having an impact, with local authorities providing help for more people through their new duties. It’s crucial that the government makes sure that councils have enough resources to deliver appropriate assistance effectively.

“Ultimately, if we really want to tackle this issue we need to start building many more of the right homes, in the right places, at the right prices. For many people on lower incomes, the only truly affordable option is social rent – but our research shows we have lost more than 150,000 of these kind of homes between 2012 and 2017. It is vital that the government supports councils and housing associations to build more homes for social rent.”

Also responding to the figures, Cllr Martin Tett, Housing spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: "Many councils are struggling to cope with rising homelessness and to find suitable accommodation for those in need.

"The increasing use of temporary accommodation is not only financially unsustainable for councils but it is hugely disruptive for those families placed in such accommodation.

"Every instance of homelessness is an individual tragedy and councils are determined to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place and support families affected.

“Councils need to keep 100 per cent of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms to prevent people from losing their home where possible.”

* Read Statutory homelessness in England: April to June 2018 here

* Chartered Institute of Housing http://www.cih.org/

* Local Government Association https://www.local.gov.uk/

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