22 Aug 2019

A new report by Children’s Commissioner found more than 210,000 children in England  live in unsuitable accommodation or are sofa surfing. In reposnse  Dr Sam Royston, Policy and Research Director at The Children Society says:

"These shocking findings highlight the scale of the problems facing homeless young people in Britain today. The Children's Society know through our own research the profound impact that living in temporary or poor quality accommodation can have on children. They not only grow up feeling unsafe and anxious, but face barriers to making the most of their education, and damage to their health and psychological wellbeing.

Additionally many are forced to move again and again, leaving them disconnected from their neighbourhoods and schools. They are also left feeling exhausted as they are forced to travel great distances to stay in education or in contact with family, friends and other support services.

The government urgently need to ensure that help with rent through housing benefit reflects local costs, so that families are able to find a decent place they can afford to live, within their local community."

Change is also needed to ensure that when young people present as homeless they always have their needs properly assessed, and that this is done jointly by children's and housing services, to give them the best chance of getting the support they desperately need."