One child in every London classroom is homeless, shock council data claims
One child in every classroom in London is homeless, on average, shock new data from councils across the capital has claimed.
There are 166,000 homeless people living in the capital and of these 81,000 are children, a new report from the London Councils network has claimed.
On average, this means one in every 23 children in London is homeless – living without permanent and suitable accommodation.
According to the analysis, the number of people turning to their London local authority for housing support increased by 18 per cent in November last year compared to the same month the year before.
As the housing crisis worsens and the cost of living crisis hits people’s pockets, more and more families cannot afford to pay their rent anymore.
Some of these families in London face no choice but living in temporary accommodation.
In December of last year the number of families living in B&Bs was up 25 per cent compared to the year before.
“When you look at that statistic, it’s atrocious, but sadly it’s also probably underestimated”, says Ben Howarth, managing director of Howarth Housing.
He added the fact that many people are “completely unaware” of how close they are to becoming homeless is even more concerning.
Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ housing lead, told City A.M. the chronic shortage of affordable homes in the capital means getting families into stable housing feels like “mission impossible”.
He added: “The capital’s homelessness crisis has long been the most severe in the country, but our new analysis shows the situation is getting worse and worse.”
Tim Bissett, director of St-Martin-in-the-Fields Charity, told City A.M. that whilst we might not see a high number of kids sleeping on the streets, rough sleeping is only the “tip of the iceberg”.
He said: “There are children in unsuitable homes, families in hostels, people sofa-surfing.
“This has a devastating impact, especially on children who just need stability and safety to be able to flourish.”
A government spokesperson said ministers were working to abolish no-fault evictions and increasing funding to tackle homelessness and increase affordable housing.
“London boroughs have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head and we have provided over £170m this year to help councils in the capital prevent homelessness,” they said.
“Over half a million households have been prevented from becoming homeless or supported into settled accommodation since 2018.”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has been approached for comment.