Housing

Almost 130,000 children will be homeless this Christmas

Shelter says its the highest number since the financial crisis a decade ago

A new report from Shelter has revealed the truly terrible impact the housing crisis is having on families across the nation.

The housing charity has used the latest figures to estimate that 128,000 children will be homeless or in temporary accommodation in the UK this Christmas – the highest number in a decade.

It’s also 52% higher than only five years ago.

“It’s a national scandal that the number of homeless children in Britain has risen since 2011,” said Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive. “No child should have to spend Christmas without a home – let alone 128,000 children.”

“Many of us will spend Christmas Day enjoying all of the festive traditions we cherish, but sadly it’ll be a different story for the children hidden away in cramped B&Bs or hostel rooms.”

No child should have to spend Christmas without a home

Around one in eleven children live in these dreadful circumstances are classed as living in “emergency accommodation” – sharing facilities and even rooms with other families.

The living conditions of children in emergency accommodation were found to affect their school work, their social life and their mental health.

One quarter of families interviewed by Shelter researchers had no kitchen access at all, and had to prepare meals for their children using only a kettle and a hotel bathroom sink.

The grim findings follow new the release of new research detailing the rise in poverty by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) earlier this week.

The think-tank found almost 400,000 more children and 300,000 more pensioners were living in poverty in the UK last year compared with 2012-13.

“These worrying figures suggest that we are at a turning point in our fight against poverty,” said the JRF’s chief executive Campbell Robb.

“Political choices, wage stagnation and economic uncertainty mean that hundreds of thousands more people are now struggling to make ends meet. This is a very real warning sign that our hard-fought progress is in peril.”

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