A shortage of affordable housing has left 130,000 children homeless in England this Christmas – an increase of 128 per cent in the past decade, according to research by the shadow housing minister Grant Shapps.
The Tories claim the impact of homelessness on children goes beyond the misery of not having a permanent roof above their heads, making them far more likely to suffer from medical and social problems. The "social failure" of child homelessness is often followed by mental, physical and educational disadvantage. A homeless child is twice as likely to be admitted to an Accident & Emergency department, four times as likely to have respiratory infections and six times as likely to suffer speech impediments, as a child with a fixed address.
Director of the homeless charity the Simon Community, welcomed the report and its conclusions, saying: "What children need is a stable, healthy environment with people who love them, but also where they aren't constantly moving from one piece of low-quality housing to another, or have the threat of that hanging over them, because the housing stock in the UK is so desperately limited."
Mr Shapps said: "For 130,000 homeless children in England, this Christmas is unlikely to be much fun... "
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