Child Homelessness in England Highest in 10 Years
As statistics for the first quarter of 2018 come in, some shocking findings around homelessness and in particular child homelessness in the U.K. have come to light.
Street sleeping has been on the increase for seven years in a row, with over 4,750 people now living on our streets, and there seem to be no signs of this trend stopping.
An astounding 123,130 children are now living in temporary accommodation, higher than it’s ever been since 2007 and an increase of almost 80 percent since 2011.
This upward trend is widespread across all age groups, with the number of people classified56xz as homeless over the age of 60 increasing by 40 percent in the past year.
However, of all social groups, single-parent families have been the ones that have been the most disproportionately hit, with rates of homelessness seeing a significant rise within this social group.
As well as absolute homelessness, those that are forced to live in temporary accommodation have also been increasing at a steady rate and has increased by 56 percent since 2010 and now encompasses 79,800 people.
Again households run by single parents are disproportionately affected. While less than 25 percent of U.K. households are run by single parents, they account for 56 percent of those placed in temporary accommodation.
So what has caused this steady and ongoing increase?
Campaigners argue that it is a combination of government welfare cuts, a lack of affordable housing and the problem of rising rents that has forced so many people to have no other option other than being put into temporary housing by the state.
Polly Neate, the chief executive of the homelessness charity Shelter, said: “It’s clear that our country is in the firm grip of a housing crisis as these figures starkly show, with older people and single parents both bearing the brunt.”
“Something as simple as a family breakdown can push older people from a shared family home into private renting, yet huge rents and unforgiving welfare cuts mean they lose their homes.”
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released research findings that showed that there were three specific life events that were most likely to predate homelessness.
These were, relatives or friends no longer being able to provide them with accommodation, relationships with violent partners breaking apart or the end of a short lease tenancy.
Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, said, “While we welcome steps the government has taken around preventing homelessness, today’s figures are a stark reminder that there are still far too many people who are homeless and stuck in temporary accommodation or being placed in sub-standard and sometimes dangerous B&Bs.
“Every day we see first-hand the effects of long stays in these types of accommodation; people can become isolated, with little access to vital support services, in poor conditions with nowhere to wash clothes or cook … we’re calling on the government to take swift action to tackle the problem and fix it once and for all.”