More Birmingham homeless children in temporary accommodation

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Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities data shows rise in homeless Birmingham children living in temporary accommodation

Last year saw a rise in the number of children living in temporary accommodation in Birmingham, according to new figures.

New figures from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show a record number of homeless children living in short-term accommodation across England.

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A housing charity cautioned a generation of young people have had their lives "blighted by homelessness", with campaigners calling for long-promised rental reforms to be strengthened.

The data shows there were 9,838 children living in temporary accommodation in Birmingham as of the end of 2023. These include short-term private rental properties, as well as hostels and bed and breakfasts. This was a rise on the same point a year earlier when there were 8,893 children in temporary accommodation.

Across England there were 145,800 children in temporary accommodation at the end of 2023, up by a fifth on when records began 20 years ago, and a 15% rise from the year before, when there were 126,340.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "The Government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness." She said: "Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads."

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Rise in homeless children in Birmingham living in temporary accommodationRise in homeless children in Birmingham living in temporary accommodation
Rise in homeless children in Birmingham living in temporary accommodation | PA

Political parties must commit to "ending the housing emergency", she added, urging them all to pledge to build 90,000 social homes a year for 10 years, as well as to overhaul the Renters (Reform) Bill.

In total, 4,676 households were living in temporary accommodation in Birmingham, 4,194 of them with dependent children. This was the up from the year before when 4,213 households were living in temporary accommodation.

The figures show the most common type of short-term housing was local authority or housing association stock, occupied by 1,924 households with children.

Tom Darling, campaign manager at the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: "Observing this steadily spiralling crisis, it is maddening to watch the Government’s approach to the Renters (Reform) Bill, one of the key levers at its disposal to tackle this crisis. Neglected, dropped, picked back up again, delayed, deprioritised, and – finally – gutted of key provisions by a group of pro-landlord MPs." He argued the bill in its current form needs significant changes, saying it “needs major surgery in the Lords” to tackle the problem.

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In total, 112,660 households were dealing with short-term living arrangements at the end of 2023, up from 12% at the same point in 2022. This included 15,950 housed in bed and breakfasts, and 6,250 in hostels.

A DLUHC spokesperson said councils are being supported with £1.2 billion to give help to those who need it, and local housing allowance has been boosted to help towards rental costs.

They added: "Temporary accommodation is a vital safety net to make sure families are not left without a roof over their heads, but councils must make sure it is suitable for families who have a right to appeal if it’s not."

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