More than 100,000 children will wake up homeless on Christmas morning, according to a new report. The number of children being forced to live in temporary housing is at the highest level since 2008, with the numbers rocketing by 15,000 in the past year.
The report, from the housing charity Shelter, warns that the equivalent of four children in every UK school are living in temporary accommodation – the highest level since the financial crash in 2008. The number of families living in B&Bs has more than trebled, to about 2,700, with a rise of 25% in the past year alone.
Shelter’s Alison Mohammed said, “The sad fact is almost every day we hear from families who’ve fallen on hard times and found themselves living in a single, cramped room of a B&B or hostel, unable to give their children the environment they need to grow and thrive in.
“Worrying about your child’s safety, eating dinners on the floor and sharing beds is no way for a family to live. But, sadly, we know we’re going to have even more families facing Christmas without a place to call home.”
The report also looked at 20 families living in single rooms and found children suffering from extreme anxiety. Many children and parents had to share a bed, most also said their room was in a state of disrepair, and more than half saying it was not secure. Many also had to eat meals on the floor or on their bed.
The dismal statistics come amid a housing crisis with families priced out by sky-high rents.