Gordon Nardell For Cities of London and Westminster
Homeless Children at Christmas
New research by the housing charity Shelter has found there will be 4,104 homeless children in Westminster this Christmas.
This means that 1 in 12 children are currently homeless in Westminster.
Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster said:
“This is what nearly a decade of Tory and Lib Dem cuts has reduced us to. We need real change.
“We have all seen the people who sleep out in the cold in Cities of London and Westminster – but there is another, unseen, side to homelessness: children and families sleeping on someone’s sofa, or in temporary accommodation.
“Not knowing where you’re going to sleep, or having to stay somewhere that’s unfriendly or where you don’t feel totally safe. That forces such enormous fear and frustration on children and parents.
“It’s appalling at any time of the year, but it’s especially shocking at Christmas.
“The way to solve this is building more council housing, strong protections for renters’ rights, and proper funding for homelessness services. That’s how we’ll solve our broken housing market.”
Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey said:
“It is shameful that after ten years of the Conservatives in Government, 135,000 children will be without a home this Christmas.
“Rising homelessness is a direct result of decisions made by the Tories: slashing investment in new low-cost homes, refusing to help private renters and making huge cuts to housing benefit and homelessness services.
“The Conservatives’ manifesto makes clear they have no plan to tackle the crisis of rising homelessness. A Labour Government will end rough sleeping within five years and fix the root causes of rising homelessness with the biggest council and social housing programme since the 1960s, stronger rights for renters and extra funding for homelessness services.”
Homelessness – the statistics
In addition to the rising number of homeless children, official figures show that the number of people sleeping on our streets has more than doubled since 2010 to almost 5,000 people on any given night.
The number of people dying homeless has risen by more than half in the last five years to 726 last year. Read more here
The Conservative manifesto contained no additional funding for social housing and no new measures to combat rising homelessness or rough sleeping.
The Labour manifesto set out a plan to end rough sleeping within five years, with 150,000 council and social homes a year, new funding for homelessness services and housing benefit, and a charter of renters’ rights.