Education & Family

Homeless children at six-year high, figures show

Silhouette child on swing
Image caption Campaigners say the rise in children living in temporary accommodation is unacceptable

The number of children living in temporary accommodation in England is at a six-year high, according to official figures.

Some 90,450 children were living in temporary accommodation in the last quarter of 2014, a rise of almost 10,000 in a year, the statistics show.

The National Housing Federation called the rise "shameful".

The government said its changes were helping councils move families out of temporary accommodation more quickly.

The statistics, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, also show there were 2,040 households with children in bed-and-breakfast hotels at the end of last year.

Of these, 780 were in bed-an-breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks.

Homeless children living in temporary accommodation in England: DCLG figures
Last quarter 2014 90,450
Last quarter 2013 80,970
Last quarter 2012 76,740
Last quarter 2011 69,460
Last quarter 2010 69.050
Last quarter 2009 77,990

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said the dramatic rise in the numbers of children "stuck in temporary accommodation like hostels and bed and breakfasts" revealed "the true cost" of not building enough homes in England.

"Often living in cramped and poor conditions, it's no way of life for a child and no way to help homeless families to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.

"It is totally unacceptable that these figures are at a six-year high.

"Children are paying the price for the failure to build the affordable homes we need and will continue to do so until politicians take bolder action and commit to end the housing crisis within a generation," said Mr Orr.

Communities Minister Kris Hopkins said the government was working to ensure support was in place to help homeless families move on with their lives.

"Households now spend on average seven months less in temporary accommodation than at the start of 2010," said Mr Hopkins in a written ministerial statement.

Local authorities now had more flexibility to find "good quality, suitable and settled accommodation in the private rented sector", he added.

The government had also made it clear that the long-term use of bed-and-breakfast accommodation for families with children "is both unacceptable and unlawful", said Mr Hopkins.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites