Almost 121,000 children in England are homeless and are living in temporary housing, which equates to one in every 100 children, according to the charity Shetler. They surveyed 800 families with 1,600 children living in temporary housing, and warned the current housing crisis is “robbing children of a secure childhood.”
A mother of three described her situation as “Dickensian” after she was given a non-fault eviction from her landlord and placed into a hotel by her local council.
She said: “It was absolutely grim, with two bunkbeds and no table to eat a hot meal together or chairs, desk or internet for my daughter to do her homework.
“To make matters worse, the hostel was 55 miles away from our school and work, meaning every day we had no choice but to make the incredibly long journey.”
Recent research by Shelter found that 46 percent of children in temporary housing had their living situation negatively impact their education, while 52 percent of families with children said they had no space for them to do their homework.
One teenager, in an interview with the Guardian, said she had to study for her GCSEs sitting on the toilet, as she shared only one room with her sisters and mother in temporary housing.
She said: “It’s so cold in there my legs go numb after 10 minutes.”
The survey found that 35 percent of homeless parents admitted that their child does not have their own bed and is forced to share, while 45 percent said their children had gone to school tired, late or even hungry due to their accommodation.
More than a quarter (26 percent) of parents surveyed said temporary housing has left their children often unhappy or depressed.
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David Renard, a councilor who is the local Government Housing Spokesperson, said: “Living in temporary accommodation can cause great disruption for children and families and is especially difficult for many families at Christmas time.”
He also warned of the growing number of no-fault evictions and the cost of living would result in a future national homelessness crisis.
A Government spokesperson has said councils received £366 million this year to find a “suitable accordion” and are bringing forward legislation that would ban no-fault evictions.
They said: “No child should be without a roof over their heads…Temporary accommodation is always a last resort, but a crucial safety net to ensure families have somewhere safe to stay.”