The Local Government has revealed that 127,000 children are currently living in temporary accommodation including in 1,440 households living in bed and breakfasts.
The LGA is using this data to push for more affordable housing for vulnerable people, who are spending this latest lockdown in temporary accommodation. The building of more affordable housing by the Government is essential to the country’s recovery from Covid-19, according to the LGA.
LGA housing spokesperson, Cllr David Renard, said:
“Living in temporary accommodation is disruptive and challenging for children and their families in normal times. These pressures will be being compounded by going into another lockdown, and on top of that some are unable to attend school.
“Our six-point plan would give councils a better chance of being able to move homeless children into permanent accommodation and also minimise the risk of other households becoming homeless as a result of the pandemic.
“This should include ensuring the welfare system is able to support families facing hardship and increasing the housing supply available to councils, as well as powers for councils to acquire empty properties and build much-needed social housing.”
The LGA is calling for a package of measures including:
- Powers for councils to acquire empty homes, including making it easier to use Compulsory Purchase Order powers to buy properties and help move households on from temporary accommodation;
- Improved protection through the welfare system, including maintaining the £20 per week increase in Universal Credit and maintaining Local Housing Allowance rates at the lowest third of market rents – both of these measures are currently due to be removed in April;
- An immediate review of the impact of the overall benefits cap in the context of the pandemic;
- Ensuring that councils have enough resources to support households at risk of homelessness – this includes proper resourcing for local welfare schemes, which play a vital role in alleviating financial hardship;
- Setting out plans to deliver a step-change in social housing – the LGA is calling for 100,000 social homes for rent to be delivered every year
- Bringing forward the Government’s pledge to end ‘no fault evictions’, which will prevent more households from becoming homeless once the stay on bailiff proceedings is lifted.