Leading homelessness charity Shelter found that 183 children lose their homes every single day
For want of a better phrase, when you read statistics revealing that a child becomes homeless every eight minutes in Britain, it really hits home.
In the truly shocking new report released today, Shelter found that 183 children lose their homes every single day, with child homelessness at its highest rate since 2006.
The ‘Generation Homeless’ report is the first time the charity has been able to reveal the rate at which children are made homeless, as opposed to more general figures. By Christmas Day in 2019, at least 135,000 children will be living in temporary accommodation.
Researchers looked at the story of a young boy named Will, 10, whose home life became ‘worse than being in a real-life horror film’ when his family were made homeless. After a Section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction – when private landlords repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenants without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant – Will and his family moved into a single room in a bed and breakfast in Ilford, east London.
He said, ‘Life in the B&B is horrible, it’s worse than being in a real-life horror film. ‘There’s no room to do anything, even if I’m reading my book, as I’m still going to get annoyed by someone…We moved here in September, and they said we were going to stay for six weeks. Then they told us we were going to stay for two more, then they told us it will be another week, then another one.’
The charity found the number of children who were homeless and living in temporary accommodation had risen by 51% in Britain in the last five years.
In England, there are an additional 4,470 families with children who are homeless but have sourced their own temporary accommodation. These families are not included in Shelter’s figures, but are also officially without a home.
Shelter, which is calling on all political parties to prioritise housing, has warned that 1,647 children will be made homeless between the start of December 3 and the General Election on December 12. Shelter chief executive Polly Neate has named the new figures ‘scandalous’, saying politicians must follow through on promises to tackle homeless.
She expanded, ‘The fact 183 children become homeless every day is a scandalous figure and sharp reminder that political promises about tackling homelessness must be turned into real action.’
‘Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the country. ‘They are being uprooted from friends; living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.’
We have teamed up with leading national homelessness charity Shelter this winter to help women and children living in dire emergency accommodation – or being forced to sleep on the street – get to a better place.
This week, we are telling the stories of women who face homelessness this winter, and tonight the Marie Claire UK team are stepping the streets of London to raise awareness for this current crisis. To donate and for more information, see shelter.org.uk/sleepwalk.