Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield has published Bleak houses: Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England, a report highlighting the reality of homelessness for many children.
The report highlights that official statistics show 124,000 children were living in temporary accommodation in England at the end of 2018. Increasing shortages of suitable accommodation mean some families are placed in B&Bs, office block conversions and converted shipping containers.
The report also estimates that in 2014-16, a further 375,000 children were in households at financial risk of becoming homeless. A further 92,000 children were estimated to be living in families forced to ‘sofa-surf’ in 2016-17.
Despite the term ‘temporary’, in 2017 4 in 10 children had been in their emergency accommodation for over six months, and 1 in 20 had been there for at least a year.