Parliament hears housing concerns

Hundreds of other child abuse cases like that
of Victoria Climbie are “waiting to happen” because of the lack of
support services for people living in temporary accommodation, a
Labour MP has claimed.

Karen Buck, MP for Regent’s Park and North
Kensington, made the comments during the House of Commons’ annual
housing debate.

She said: “The Victoria Climbie case has
highlighted how easy it is for vulnerable families to fall through
the net, especially if the family does not have English as a first
language, or have other communication problems, and are highly

The risk existed because of “mobility in the
temporary accommodation sector,” she added.

The inquiry into Victoria Climbie’s death has
heard how Ealing Council placed her in temporary accommodation in
neighbouring borough Brent but failed to inform Brent Council of
the placement.

London has 52,000 households in temporary
accommodation, which is the highest number on record.

Buck said that the government’s new bed and
breakfast unit “will do a great deal of good” because it has high

She said it was important to have numerical
targets for reducing the number of people living in bed and
breakfast accommodation if progress is to be monitored.

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