Homeless, with nowhere to play


More than 73,000 children in London are living in temporary accommodation, where lack of space to play is commonplace.

The Shelter survey, funded by Trust for London and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, showed at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children.  London is the worst affected area in the country, with one in 58 people in the capital being homeless.

The report authors suggest that numbers will have grown since the survey was carried out last June, and are likely to increase substantially over the coming year as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

Of the homeless parents surveyed, some 61 per cent said their children lack space to play in their temporary accommodation.  Around 45 per cent said their children have gone to school tired, late or hungry as a result of their living situation and 35 per cent said their children do not have their own bed and are forced to share with another family member.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said:

“Something has gone very wrong when children cannot play because their temporary accommodation is too cramped even for toys, and no friends are allowed to visit.”

“A grotty hostel or B&B is not a home, but this is where thousands of homeless children are forced to live. And many more children will be thrown into homelessness as their parents can no longer afford to keep a roof over their head.”

All ten of the local authority areas in England ranked worst for homelessness are in London: Newham tops the list with one in 21, or just under five percent, of residents classed as homeless including 8,363 children.


For more on this story go to the Shelter website.

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