Report highlights growing number of homeless children placed in temporary accommodation

Date: 25th July 2018
Category: Basic Health and Welfare

Teacher

A new report which includes research undertaken with children and young people experiencing homelessness highlights the unsafe conditions that many children are living in whilst in temporary accommodation in England.

The report, published by the Child Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), undertook research directly with children and young people who had experiences of homelessness and was produced as part of the child-led Change It! Campaign, which is lead by a steering group of 22 young people aged 8 to 22, many of whom have experienced homelessness.

Much of the research highlighted the long lengths of time that children and young people are having to live in unsuitable and unsafe accommodation such as B&Bs. Children and young people said:

"It's so cold at night. Sometimes I have to wear all my layers including my jacket. There is no heating."

"My little brother is disabled. The B&B had steps at the entrance but the wheelchair lift was broken. I had to carry him every day. We were there for six months when I was 16."

In the last year, the number of homeless households placed in B&B accommodation rose by 10% and are no 250% higher than in 2009. At the end of 2017, 2,050 households with children, or headed by a child, were housed in a B&B and of these nearly 45% stayed longer than the six week legal limit.

The Change It! Campaign is calling on the Government to listen to the voices of children and young people and to take urgent action to ensure local authorities do not house families in B&Bs for longer than the legal limit by making sure there is enough suitable housing for children.