71,000 children homeless

22 December 2010

Brother and sister

More than 71,000 children will wake up this Christmas in temporary accommodation without the safety and security of a home to call their own, Shelter said today.

Government figures recently revealed the shocking plight of homeless children across the country. They will be spending Christmas Day in hostels, bed and breakfasts, refuges and temporary private rented accommodation*.

Some families will have to move several times and could wait years before they are offered a permanent place to live. The upheaval and the uncertainty of living in temporary accommodation can have a devastating effect on children’s health, education and future chances in life.

Shelter is warning that the combination of government cuts, rising unemployment and increases in the cost of living could mean many more children and their families losing their homes next year.

Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: ‘It’s heartbreaking to think that the only Christmas wish for tens of thousands of children across the country is for a permanent home to call their own.

‘Living in temporary accommodation has a terrible impact on children’s lives, robbing them of security and stability at the very time they need it most. Sadly, the cost to their education, health and wellbeing is sometimes beyond repair.

‘We cannot continue to let children pay the price for our housing crisis. With tough times ahead next year, the Government must to do everything it can to prevent more futures being blighted by homelessness.’

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*Communities and Local Government figures for Quarter 3 2010 showed 71,455 homeless children in England are living in temporary accommodation.