Cost of living crisis: Almost 78,000 children in London to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation

New findings have estimated that overall there are 162,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation.
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Almost 78,000 London children are homeless and set to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation, according to new research.

London Councils, a cross-party organisation conducted a survey of London boroughs amid concerns that cost-of-living pressures are worsening the capital’s homelessness crisis.

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The findings estimated that overall there are 162,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation – equivalent to the entire population of some smaller boroughs.

London accounts for almost two-thirds of England’s total temporary accommodation population, with a lack of affordable housing the capital being a key factor driving homelessness.

There are  currently 162,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation, new research says.There are  currently 162,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation, new research says.
There are currently 162,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation, new research says.

The survey found that the number of residents threatened by homelessness has risen by 14.2% this year with boroughs struggling to secure suitable accommodation for homeless households.

London Councils is urging for greater action on reducing homelessness – including boosting welfare support for low-income households.

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The group also highlighted its concern that government plans to reform the Homelessness Prevention Grant could lead to London losing up to 32% of the money currently received, despite the capital’s immense homelessness pressures.

Separate research commissioned by the cross party group has recently revealed growing cost-of-living concerns in the capital, with one in four Londoners finding it difficult to manage financially.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning, said:“Every child should have a permanent home. It feels particularly grim at Christmas that so many thousands of Londoners are homeless and relying on temporary accommodation.

“These figures must serve as a wake-up call. We need renewed action on tackling homelessness in 2023, including through making better use of the welfare system to help low-income households afford their housing costs and avoid homelessness in the first place.

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“We also need more funding guarantees from the government to sustain boroughs’ homelessness work.

“This is crucial for achieving our shared objectives on homelessness reduction, and we’re determined to work with ministers in making faster progress on this momentous challenge.”

A government spokesperson said: “No child should be without a roof over their heads.

“Councils have a duty to provide accommodation and we’ve provided them with £366 million this year to ensure they can find suitable accommodation, and we will bring forward legislation in the new year to ban Section-21 no fault evictions.

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“We are also providing cost of living payments worth £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable families to help this winter.

“Temporary accommodation is always a last resort, but a crucial safety net to ensure families have somewhere safe to stay.”