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26 households with children “homeless” this Christmas

by mikebell on 20 December, 2018

26 households with children in North Somerset will be ‘homeless’ this Christmas, according to figures obtained by Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Bell.

While the majority of families sit down in their own homes to enjoy the festive season, 26 families with children will be living in temporary accommodation when they unwrap their gifts on December 25.

Homeless legislation means that children should never have to sleep rough, but many children and young people and their families are officially classed as homeless because they don’t have a permanent home.

In North Somerset, 25 of these families are in temporary accommodation through Alliance Homes and one of the families lives in a privately run hostel.

Figures provided by the council show that the average length of stay in temporary accommodation for families with children is 100 days.

Across the country, the number of homeless children has increased by 59 per cent in five years, according to charity Shelter.

The housing charity has raised concerns about children living in ‘totally inappropriate’ places such as short-term arrangements with friends or relatives, or in bed and breakfasts.

Councillor Mike Bell said: “Nobody should be homeless, least of all families with children. But for the generation growing up now, this is the reality.

“Housing is often unaffordable and families, including here in North Somerset, find themselves in need of temporary and urgent support.

“This Tory government’s housing policies have directly led to homelessness reaching record levels and further increased social, financial and intergenerational inequalities.

“The Government – and North Somerset Council – can and should act. Liberal Democrats want to see a British Housing Company leading the development of the affordable homes we need. North Somerset Council should lead the way in building a new generation of council homes locally to put a roof over the heads of local people in housing need.

“We also need to see the driving up of standards so that the private rented market delivers affordable, accessible homes to complement other provision.”

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