Homeless children up by 60 per cent since the Conservatives came to power

The children are mostly being held in temporary accomodation

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Indy Politics

The number of homeless children has risen by nearly 60 per cent since the year the Conservatives came to power, official figures suggest.

According to data collated by Department for Communities and Local Government there are now 114,930 children living in temporary accommodation every night.

This figure is up by 58 per cent since 2010, when David Cameron came to power.

The number of families with children declared homeless are similarly up by 70 per cent – with such families now making up two thirds of homeless cases. 

The stark analysis comes as the Government throws its support behind a Homelessness Reduction Bill, aimed at putting new legal requirements on local councils to stop people becoming homeless in the first place.

The Bill, would force councils to find people accommodation if they were at risk of being made homeless within 56 days. It was proposed by Tory backbencher Bob Blackman, was backed by the Government after some changes to its scope, and will face its first major parliamentary hurdle on Friday afternoon.

However the Department for Work and Pensions announced in September that it would cut million of pounds in funding from homeless hostels via a social rent cut that had a knock-on effect to housing benefit payments. 

Labour’s shadow housing minister John Healey said the rise in homeless children was not “inevitable” and that it was impossible to help end homelessness without building enough homes.

“Ministers should hang their heads in shame over this homelessness crisis for children,” he said.

“Six years of housing policy failure under Conservative ministers has led directly to today’s rapidly rising homelessness. You can’t help the homeless if you won’t build the homes, and the Government has ended all funding for genuinely affordable rented housing.

“Homelessness is not inevitable and Labour in government cut it right down before levels started to soar again after 2010 with the Tories.

“Labour backs new legislation to improve prevention of homelessness but to help the thousands of children without a home Tory ministers must also build more affordable housing, act on private renting and reverse their crude cuts to housing benefit for the most vulnerable.” 

A DCLG spokesman said: “Time spent in temporary accommodation ensures no family with children is left without a roof over their heads.

“Since 2010 we’ve invested £500m to help tackle homelessness, with the number of households in temporary accommodation well below the peak reached under the last government.

“However, we’re determined to do more, which is why we’re backing Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill to ensure even more people get the help they need.”

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