Housing crisis

75,000 children in housing crisis due to lack of housing in London

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More than 75,000 children are stuck in temporary accommodation in London due to lack of accommodation and lack of housing benefit, experts have warned.

Two reports, one for Mayor Sadiq Khan by University College London and the other by the Center for London think tank, said the cost of living crisis could lead to increased homelessness.

This could reverse the recent decline in the number of families who will be forced to live in individual “bed and breakfast” rooms and share a kitchen and bathroom with other families.

The latest government statistics show there were 38,160 households with children in temporary accommodation in London in the first quarter of this year, almost 60% of all those in temporary accommodation across the country. Thousands of families are forced to move to another region or city in search of housing.

The reports have highlighted the gap between the amount of housing assistance available and the cost of finding a property in the private sector. They said the benefit should be increased to at least half the average rental rate in each region.

The Center for London said there was a “hidden homelessness crisis“. He called for the £23,000 cap on benefits to be scrapped and for local housing allowance rates to be adjusted to the true cost of housing in London.

Claire Harding, research director at the Center for London, said: ‘Far too many Londoners are already stuck in temporary accommodation and we really fear that number will increase this winter.

The UCL review, led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, said the inadequate level of social housing in London affects the physical and mental health of children and can permanently hinder their development.

Sir Michael said: “This is an unacceptable situation as it definitely jeopardizes the future of the children. Our homes provide the living environment that dictates our future health. We know that living in cold, damp and moldy homes leads to lung damage in children and harms their development.

“Children are less likely to be able to do their homework if their home is cold and crowded, causing them to fall behind in school. In the long run, this is more likely to lead to unstable, low-income work and not being able to make ends meet.