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'87,000 children' in crisis housing


Labour said that bed and breakfast use is on the rise

Labour said that bed and breakfast use is on the rise

Labour said that bed and breakfast use is on the rise

Nearly 90,000 children will spend Christmas in emergency accommodation as the cost of covering crisis housing soars, according to Labour.

The bill for temporary shelter over the current parliament is set to reach nearly £2.8 billion, analysis of Government and council records by the party shows.

It found that bed and breakfast use is on the rise and claimed there has been a 260% increase in the number of families with children illegally housed in such accommodation for more than six weeks.

Overall, 60,940 families, including 87,420 children, are expected to spend the festive period in emergency accommodation this year, according to the research.

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: "These figures show the scale of David Cameron's failure to tackle the housing shortage which is central to the cost-of-living crisis.

"It is a tragedy that tens of thousands of families will be spending their Christmas in emergency accommodation but it is also costing the taxpayer more, with local authorities set to spend billions on emergency accommodation over this parliament because of the Government's failure.

"Rising housing costs and low pay have made it more and more difficult for people to stay in their family home and the Government's failure to build the affordable homes we need, and policies like the bedroom tax, have made things worse."

Homelessness minister Kris Hopkins said: "This Government has increased spending to prevent homelessness, making over £500 million available to help the most vulnerable in society and has kept strong protections to guard families against the threat of homelessness.

"Councils have a responsibility to move homeless households into settled accommodation as quickly as possible and statistics released recently show a significant fall in the number of families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks."

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