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Homeless children a 'shocking indictment' says Wirral Council's housing chief
Disturbing figures released by the Government show almost 85,000 children face being homeless in the UK this Christmas.
Wirral Council housing chief Cllr George Davies called the situation “a shocking indictment.”
But he said safeguards are in place in the borough designed to prevent children falling into homelessness.
Government data shows 820 youngsters across the North West are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.
Housing charity Shelter is warning the rising cost of living coupled with cuts to the housing safety net will mean many more parents finding themselves facing a struggle to keep a roof over their children’s heads.
Councillor Davies said: “The situation in Wirral is that fewer than one per cent of children are in the homeless category – although introduction of bedroom tax will not have helped.
“But some people are finding it difficult to find accommodation.
“In 2013, when you have 85,000 children without a home, it is an appalling statistic.”
Shelter has launched an emergency fundraising appeal to support its work with homeless children this Christmas.
Many of these are likely to be living in emergency bed & breakfast accommodation.
Councillor Davies said: “When it can’t be prevented, then the council will only use approved self-contained accommodation suitable to meet the needs of individual families.
“We will only use bed & breakfast accommodation or hotels in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort.
“Whenever possible, families placed in bed & breakfast will be moved into self-contained accommodation as soon as possible.”
Already taking more than 470 calls a day to its helpline, Shelter is now bracing itself for an increase in demand for its advice services this Christmas; particularly given the 15% rise in the number of calls received during December last year.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “These new figures are even worse than we expected.
“It is an absolute disgrace that nearly 85,000 children in Britain face waking up homeless this Christmas morning.”
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