Latest Public Sector News

13.11.12

Huge rise in number of children living in B&Bs

There has been a “shocking” 60% rise in the number of children and pregnant women living in B&Bs, according to a new report by the National Housing Federation, which represents England’s housing associations.

Homeless Bound shows that the number of people forced to stay in temporary accommodation continues to rise, and that rough sleeping in England has jumped by 23%.

Over a third of families with children living in B&Bs have been there for longer than the Government’s six-week limit.

NHF chief executive David Orr said: “With increasing rents, insecure short-term rental tenancies and a recession which is leaving people really struggling, we have a perfect storm – and it means families who never dreamed of being homeless could end up on the streets. They are the new face of England’s homeless.

“Local authorities’ new powers to move homeless families waiting for social housing straight into the private-rented sector may cut the numbers living in temporary accommodation. But renting privately is still unaffordable – as the 86% rise in working families claiming housing benefit shows.

“And with private landlords increasingly unwilling to house homeless families, we could see a revolving-door effect where people who can’t afford their rent simply become homeless again.

“The only solution is to build more affordable homes for sale and for rent. Only then will we truly be able to protect people from the traumatic experience of being made homeless.”

Full statistics and sourcing can be found here.

(Rough sleeping image copyright Trowbridge Estate, used here under a Creative Commons licence. Some rights reserved.)

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