Skip to main content

The housing crisis generation

The impacts of homelessness on children and young people can be extreme and extensive. Living in temporary accommodation or sofa-surfing often means constant insecurity and disruption to families’ daily lives. Homelessness particularly affects children and young people’s mental health and education.

• There will be an estimated 131,000 children who are homeless in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) this Christmas.

• This is 3% higher than last year (or over 3,000 more children), 59% higher than five years ago (nearly 50,000 more children).

• Five English regions have seen a greater percentage increase in homeless children than London (up 49%), over the last five years – East of England (up 177%), the North West (up 175%), West Midlands (up 142%), East Midlands (up 131%) and the South East (up 108%).

• Locally (England only) the biggest proportionate increases over the last five years have been seen in Aylesbury Vale (from 6 children to 125), Oldham (6 to 90), Thanet (16 to 218) and Basingstoke (14 to 187).

• The rate of homeless children in Great Britain is 1 child in every 103 (England 1 in 96, Scotland 1 in 156, Wales 1 in 412).

• The English regions with the highest rates are London at 1 in 23 and East of England at 1 in 157.

• The highest local rates in England are mainly found in London (Westminster 1 in 11, Haringey, Newham and Kensington and Chelsea 1 in 12), but high rates are also found in Luton (1 in 22), Brighton (1 in 26) and Broxbourne (1 in 48).

• The indicative rate per school for England is 5 homeless children. In London it is 28 for every school – the equivalent of almost one whole class.