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90,000 children in UK will be homeless this Christmas – Shelter

Approximately 90,000 children in Britain will spend this Christmas homeless, according to new research by Shelter. 

The housing charity released the research while launching an emergency appeal in response to the figures. 

The number of families living in B&Bs has almost doubled in three years, which Shelter said was particularly alarming following the results of its investigation into living conditions in B&Bs

The in-depth investigation into 20 families found that well over half felt unsafe in their temporary accommodation, with parents reporting exposure to drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, swearing and racist language. 

Within the Shelter research, the charity’s calculations suggest that in Q2 of 2014, ending in June, there were 90,569 children living in temporary accommodation in England, Scotland and Wales. 

The figure for Q2 in 2011 was 76,650, suggesting a rise of 13,919 children without permanent homes in three years. 

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “In the 21st century it cannot be right that homeless children are experiencing severe emotional distress, facing three hour round trips to school and having to eat their dinner on the floor. 

“Our advisers will be working tirelessly to support people who find themselves homeless this Christmas, but it’s getting harder and harder for us to be there for every family that needs us.” 

Earlier this year, the government announced a new funding pot of £65m from across Whitehall to be offered to local authorities to tackle homelessness

This was in addition to the £470m of funding that the government has maintained since 2010 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness and the No Second Night Out scheme.

Kris Hopkins MP, England’s local government minister, said: “This is to ensure we don't return to the bad old days when homelessness in England was nearly double what it is today. 

“Councils have a responsibility to move homeless households into settled accommodation as quickly as possible and we have changed the law so that they can place families in decent and affordable private rented homes. All this has meant statutory homelessness remains lower than in 27 of the last 30 years.” 

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