Number of homeless children during lockdown equivalent to 450 full primary schools
Latest figures released for England show that over 125,000 children are spending the current lockdown in temporary accommodation as low-income families continue to struggle financially due to the pandemic.
The number of children currently spending lockdown in temporary accommodation is equivalent to around 450 full primary schools, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
The organisation, which represents councils in England, said that were currently at least 127,240 children found to be living in temporary accommodation in the country, including 1,440 households with children currently living in bed and breakfasts.
The LGA said the figures reinforce the “urgent need” for the Government to ensure building of more affordable homes for families to utilise, especially with more economic damage set to hit the UK in the coming months.
See how poverty levels are expected to increase further as Government financial support schemes are set to expire here
The association has called on the Government to implement measures to help support children and families currently housed in temporary accommodation, as well as to help prevent further homelessness as the current lockdown continues.
These include increased Compulsory Purchase Order powers for local councils, ensuring that councils have sufficient resources for local welfare schemes, bringing forward the Government’s pledge to end ‘no fault evictions’, and delivering an extra 100,000 social homes per year.
In addition, the LGA has also joined over 80 other organisations in asking the Government to maintain the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit that is due to be removed at the end of March.
Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson the reforms would give “give councils a better chance” of moving homeless children back into permanent residencies.
“Living in temporary accommodation is disruptive and challenging for children and their families in normal times,” said Mr Renard.
“These pressures will be being compounded by going into another lockdown, and on top of that some are unable to attend school.
“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.”