90,000 London children to be homeless this Christmas, London Councils warn

8th December, 2020 11:59 am

Source: The Evening Standard

Nearly  90,000 children in the capital are expected to be homeless this Christmas, London Councils warned today.

The rate of families being placed in temporary accommodation is spiralling out of control as the pandemic continues to stretch local authority finances and demands for help reached record numbers, the umbrella group said.

Some 63,000 London households, more than two thirds with children, will spend the festive period in bed and breakfasts, hostels and other short-term lettings because boroughs do not have enough social housing.

The latest government figures show at least 4,000 more households will spend Christmas this year without a home than in 2019.

Darren Rodwell, executive member for housing at London Councils, which represents town halls in the capital, said: “Homelessness rates are skyrocketing and London faces the most severe crisis in the country.

“These figures are a clear wake-up call that more must be done to tackle homelessness. Although the economic turmoil and job losses brought about by Covid-19 have undoubtedly made the situation worse, with more and more Londoners turning to their council for help, there’s been an upward trend in London’s homelessness rates for many years now.

“Boroughs are doing all we can to support homeless families but to see these numbers come down we need the government to rethink its policies on welfare, invest more money in frontline services, and prioritise building social housing.”

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