Children’s Commissioner for England launches report on family homelessness

Date: 26th August 2019
Category: Basic Health and Welfare, Child poverty

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The report shines a light on the homelessness crisis in England, shares the experiences of children and their parents experiencing homelessness, frontline professionals and calls for immediate action.

The report suggests that there could be more than 210,000 homeless children across England. This consists of more than 120,000 children who are officially homeless and living in temporary accommodation, and roughly 90,000 children in sofa surfing families. There is also an unknown number housed by children’s services, for which no data is available.

The report notes a stark increase in the number of children living in temporary accommodation. In 2018 this figure was 80% higher than it was in 2010. The findings also show that many families are forced to stay in accommodation that is wholly inappropriate to their needs, often for prolonged periods of time. The report notes some types of accommodation of particular concern, such as B&Bs, office block conversions and shipping containers.

The research has found that when children are denied their right to adequate housing this has a significant impact on many other rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, such as their rights to health, safety, education and play.

The recommendations outlined in the report are expected to improve the state of temporary accommodation for families who need it, as well as reduce the number of families becoming homeless in the first place, ultimately delivering the best outcomes for children.