Better standards for temporary housing

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is to revise its
homelessness guidance to include more stringent standards for
housing homeless families in temporary accommodation.

The revised code will detail best practice and is intended to
ensure that homeless households receive support for health,
education and welfare needs.

First published in July 2002, the updated code will take into
account the outlawing from 1 April 2004 of B&B accommodation
for families with children for more than six weeks.

At present, the ODPM does not stipulate what type of accommodation
councils must use to re-house a family with children.

The move follows the launch of a new report from homelessness
charity Shelter which shows that temporary accommodation in England
is having a “devastating impact” on children’s health, education
and job opportunities.

According to the survey, two- thirds of the 417 families said their
children had problems at school with the average child missing 55
days a year due to the disruptions of moves into and between
temporary accommodation.

Nearly half described their children as “often unhappy or
depressed”. Only one-fifth of families with children aged under
four years were using Sure Start services.

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