135,000 children in Britain to be homeless at Christmas

Shelter has estimated that at least 135,000 children will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation across Britain on Christmas day – the highest number for 12 years.

The housing charity claims that a child loses their home every eight minutes, which equates to 183 children each day. If accurate, it means that 1,647 children will become homeless between now and the general election on 12 December, and more than 4,000 by 25 December.

London has 26 of the 30 British local authorities with the highest rates of homeless children, with the capital possessing the highest concentration of homeless youths, up 33 per cent since 2014. At the start of this year, approximately 88,000 children were homeless and in temporary accommodation. In Haringey, Newham, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea the homeless rate is currently one in every 12 children.

Away from the capital, the places worst affected are: Luton (one in 22 children); Brighton & Hove (one in 30); Manchester (one in 47); and Slough (one in 53). In Wales, one in 412 children are homeless, up 28 per cent since 2015, while in Scotland one in 160 children were homeless, up 64 per cent since 2014.

Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “The fact 183 children become homeless every day is a scandalous figure and a sharp reminder that political promises about tackling homelessness must be turned into real action. Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the country. They are being uprooted from friends, living in cold, cramped B&Bs and going to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.”