Homeless families in B&Bs on the rise

6 December 2012

Man and child at a window

The number of homeless families with children living in bed and breakfasts has risen by 51% in the past year, new Government figures for England show today.

More than 2,000 homeless families are living in B&Bs, often in single rooms with no cooking facilities and shared bathrooms. Many will spend Christmas Day there.

Worryingly, the number of families living in B&Bs for longer than six weeks, the legal limit, has almost tripled in the past year. Meanwhile, calls to Shelter’s helpline have almost doubled in the last three years.

Today’s figures also reveal that the number of homeless families with children has risen by 12% to 8,820.

This Christmas, Shelter is calling for support to prevent families losing their homes in the first place.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: 'This huge increase in families living in B&Bs is worrying. It’s hard to imagine losing your home, let alone the horror of squeezing your family into one room without decent facilities.

'Families sometimes live like this for months and it’s the children who suffer the most. We urgently need more support this Christmas to help families stay in their homes.'

Make a donation online or Text HOMES to 87085 to give £3 to Shelter’s Emergency Christmas appeal.