The amount of displaced children has hit a 14 year high with approximately 130,000 stuck in B&Bs and temporary shelters and devastating new figures today reveal there were 129,380 children living in temporary accommodation in England on March 31.
The number is up 3.1 per cent on last year and is the highest quarterly figure reported since summer 2006.
More than two-thirds of all people stuck in temporary accommodation, a measure of homelessness, have dependent children dwelling with them and some 1,550 parents with children are living in what is deemed to be short term B&Bs.
And while that was a 29 per cent decrease on last year, 530 of those parents had still been in B&Bs past the allowable limit of six weeks.
Overall the number of households in temporary accommodation rose 9.4 per cent last year to 93,000.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced this increase was mainly motivated by single households and may be connected to the coronavirus ‘Everyone In’ scheme.
The scheme took rough sleepers off the streets and housed them in accommodations like hotels, increasing the number of people in temporary accommodation but Labour warned a new surge of homelessness is on the horizon as landlords get permission to restart evictions, which was banned for five months, and is scheduled to start again this Monday.
Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire said that these figures highlight the pressing need to extend the eviction embargo, to avoid thousands of more people being made homeless in the run up to winter.
And he said that before COVID, we already had devastatingly large numbers in temporary accommodation as a direct result of 10 years of the Conservative government, whose methods have thrust people into destitution.
And that the Government have known for months that an eviction crisis was emerging and not for the first time, it has been too hesitant to take action and that we’re now facing a possible disaster if the embargo is lifted with no strategy for what comes next.
In three months, approximately 5,000 households were threatened with homelessness after being served a no-fault eviction notice and a quarter of all households who applied to their council for assistance were renting from a private landlord at the time – 19,160.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter said that thousands of more renters have since had their lives turned upside down as the country sinks into an economic free fall and with the daily news of new job cuts and the eviction embargo set to lift on Monday, the coming months are likely to see a devastating homelessness crisis unfold unless the government steps in to safeguard people’s homes.
Of course, no child is alone in these B&Bs, they’re there with their parents, but are usually not given many options but to go there or the children would be put into children’s homes.
And children are on the streets at a tender age normally because of their home lives. Of course, the immigrant predicament does need a shakeup but we can’t indict them for everything.