Child Homelessness Up

According to new figures, the number of homeless children living in temporary accommodation in Warrington has almost doubled in a year, reports the Warrington Guardian.

Latest data from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) shows a record number of homeless children living in short-term accommodation across England. A housing charity cautioned a generation of young people have had their lives ‘blighted by homelessness’, with campaigners calling for long-promised rental reforms to be strengthened.

The data shows there were 101 children living in temporary accommodation in Warrington as of the end of 2023 – the latest period for which data is available. These include short-term private rental properties, as well as hostels and bed and breakfasts. This was a rise on the same point a year earlier when there were 69 children in temporary accommodation. Across England there were 145,800 children in temporary accommodation at the end of 2023, up by a fifth on when records began 20 years ago, and a 15 per cent rise from the year before, when there were 126,340.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The Government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness. Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads.”

In total, 112 households were living in temporary accommodation in Warrington, 56 of them with dependent children. This was the up from the year before when 56 households were living in temporary accommodation. The figures show the most common type of short-term housing was local authority or housing association stock, occupied by 30 households with children. In total, 112,660 households were dealing with short-term living arrangements at the end of 2023, up from 12 per cent at the same point in 2022. This included 15,950 housed in bed and breakfasts, and 6,250 in hostels.

A DLUHC spokesman said councils are being supported with £1.2billion to give help to those who need it, and local housing allowance has been boosted to help towards rental costs. They added: “Temporary accommodation is a vital safety net to make sure families are not left without a roof over their heads. But councils must make sure it is suitable for families who have a right to appeal if it is not.”