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Social Justice

Almost 123,000 children were homeless over the summer holidays

The Local Government Association found that the shocking figure is up three-quarters since 2011

The number of children who spent the summer break in temporary accommodation rather than enjoying the sun has skyrocketed by over 75 per cent since 2011.

The Local Government Association (LGA) found that almost 123,000 kids are being housed by councils in hostels and B&Bs while they’re off school.

And that figure is on the rise too with an additional 650 children finding themselves in the same position every month since 2011 – the equivalent of an entire primary schools’ worth of kids every fortnight.

The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, has branded the situation unsustainable and called on the government to focus on prevention to tackle the homelessness crisis.

With local government facing an almost £8bn funding gap in the area by 2025, the LGA is asking for adapted welfare reforms and the means to build new homes through borrowing and the ability to keep 100 per cent of the receipts of homes sold under Right to Buy.

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It is hoped that this will go further to build on the government’s recently announced Rough Sleeping Strategy.

“The summer holidays are supposed to be magical times for children. It’s a chance to be with friends and family and create memories that can last a lifetime,” said Cllr Judith Blake, the LGA’s housing spokesperson.

“For too many families, it has been a miserable existence, living in inappropriate conditions as they experience the sharp end of our national housing shortage.

“Councils are currently housing almost 123,000 children experiencing homelessness, which not only has hugely negative impact on their young lives but creates an unsustainable position for local councils, as they experience spiralling housing costs without the tools and resources to deliver the homes their residents need.

“It’s crucial that we take the serious measures that are needed to get towards our collective ambition to end homelessness outright.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire unveiled the £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy earlier this month with a decade-long plan to ensure no one is sleeping on the streets by 2027.

A spokesperson from his department said: “All children deserve a safe and decent place to live and we are providing more than £1.2 billion so those who are homeless get the support they need.

“Councils have a duty to provide suitable temporary accommodation to those who need it, and families with children get priority.

“So families can get a permanent home, we are investing £9bn in affordable properties, including £2bn for social rent housing.”

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