Over 87,000 children in London are living in temporary accommodation, new government data has revealed. Analysis by Labour’s London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, shows that there are now over 26,700 more children in temporary accommodation in the capital than there were in 2010. Mr Copley said the rise could be attributed to a “brutal concoction” of insecure tenancies, cuts to council budgets and welfare reforms.
New data from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) shows that there are 51,940 households in London residing in temporary accommodation. 83% of those households are families with children under the age of 18 and in total 87,010 children in the capital are now living in temporary accommodation. This is a rise of 26,720 children (44%) since 2010. Mr Copley accused the government of being “content to leave vulnerable families flailing in limbo at the expense of children’s life chances and wellbeing”.
Mr Copley criticised the role of Right to Buy in depleting London’s social housing and forcing families to turn to insecure private tenancies. 41% of families entering temporary accommodation in London in 2016 cited the loss of tenancy as their primary reason for homelessness, compared to 10% in 2010. An estimated 20,487 social homes have been lost in London since 2010. Last year, Right to Buy sales accounted for 88% of the total number of social homes lost in the capital. Mr Copley criticised the government for allowing Right to Buy to “take chunks” out of London’s housing stock and push families into insecure private tenancies.
Labour London Assembly Housing Spokesperson, Tom Copley AM, said:
“When you have insecure tenancies, huge cuts to council budgets and caps on housing benefit happening all at once, you form a brutal concoction which leaves thousands of families without a permanent home.
“By reanimating the corpse of Right to Buy the Government have taken chunks out of London’s social housing stock. The decimation of London’s social housing has pushed many families into private tenancies with exorbitant rents that they just can’t manage. The extension of Right to Buy to Housing Association properties will exacerbate this appalling situation further still.
“Temporary accommodation forms a vital lifeline, but it should only ever be a short term fix. Work must start now to open up new funding streams for councils to build social housing and ensure Right to Buy income is reinvested in building new homes. Government appear content to leave vulnerable families flailing in limbo at the expense of children’s life chances and wellbeing.