Homelessness in England has become ‘more ingrained’ over the past four decades, according to Shelter with over 15 times as many families in temporary accommodation today as there were in 1970’s.
A report to mark the 40th anniversary of the homelessness charity has revealed that the number of families in temporary housing has risen from 6,400 in 1976 to a “scandalously high” figure of over 100,000 today.
The report also states that in the same period, building of social accommodation has fallen by 87% to an “historic low” forcing many families to become trapped in temporary accommodation or bad housing.
Adam Sampson, director of Shelter, said: “With one million children in bad housing it is a national scandal that even more families are suffering the long-term damage and insecurity caused by homelessness.”
Whilst Shelter acknowledges the government’s commitment to reducing the levels of rough sleepers, they are now demanding a similar pledge to end bad housing for the next generation of children and they are calling for increased investment in affordable and social housing.
According to the charity the government needs to deliver an additional 20,000 social rented homes in England each year from 2008 as well as the 30,000 homes per year it has already pledged to build and they are calling for a 50% increase in housing investment in Scotland.
Minister for housing, Yvette Cooper responded to the report by saying: “Hundreds of thousands of children have been lifted out of bad housing, thanks to the major programme of refurbishment to council housing since 1997, and the ending of bed and breakfast accommodation.
“But we have to go further. The next challenge is to get families out of temporary accommodation. We have to recognise that this country has built too few homes for a generation. We need to build more social housing, more private housing and more shared ownership to meet families’ needs.”