Thousands of children in Tower Hamlets will be without a home this Christmas, says housing charity

Pic: Sydney

Over three thousand children will be homeless in Tower Hamlets this Christmas, according to new research.

Figures collected by housing charity Shelter revealed that in June this year  3,472 children were living in temporary accommodation in the borough.

The charity has warned that across London over 57,000 children are expected to remain in temporary housing over December. The charity is expecting these figures to rise during the next year.

The statistics, released as part of Shelter’s latest campaign to raise awareness of homelessness on Christmas day, show Tower Hamlets as among the worst in London for families living in B&Bs and hostels.

Tower Hamlets came fourth out of 17 of the capitals 32 boroughs which released figures to the charity.  The council has not disputed the figures but does not define living in temporary accommodation as homelessness.

Croydon was also comparatively high, with 2,790 children considered homeless in June, while there were 1,653 homeless children in Hackney. Data for Lewisham was not available.

The charity said the main triggers for “homelessness” include relationship breakdowns, job losses, and landlords ending renters’ tenancies.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s easy to think of homelessness as people sleeping rough.

“What people don’t often consider is the rising number of families who, through no fault of their own, have lost their home and have no permanent roof over their heads.

“The rise in homelessness over the last year means there is a lot of pressure on local authorities in the region, who will be using all the options they can to get a roof over the heads of homeless families.”

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets told Eastlondonlines that the council had successful procedures in place to combat homelessness.

She said: “The statistics used in the piece are from June 2012. Despite implications to the contrary, thousands of children are not homeless. The council has successfully responded to those households who, for a variety of reasons, have sought our help.

“Unless matters are acute or very short notice, such help is always in the form of self-contained accommodation, by far the majority of which is in-borough.”


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