The number of homeless families being housed in bed and breakfast accommodation has risen by nearly 50 per cent in the last year.
Research by the National Housing Federation has revealed that between January and March 2012 there were 3,960 homeless families staying in bed and breakfasts compared to just 2,750 during the same period last year.
The rise in homeless families being housed in B&BS is largely attributed to the lack of available council, or housing association temporary or long term accommodation. Altogether around 26,000 homeless families live in bed and breakfasts as a temporary housing solution.
The National Housing Association has warned that if the £500 per week benefit cap is enforced this number could rise.
David Orr, chief executive at the association said: ‘In a B&B, whole families can find themselves sharing one room and they are often shut out of their accommodation during the day, causing huge disruption to daily routines of school and work.’
‘Every child deserves a decent home to come back to after school, where they feel secure and where they can sit down to do their homework. That is what temporary accommodation provides.’
‘Without the safety net of temporary accommodation, thousands more families will find themselves in a vicious cycle of homelessness.’
‘It is essential that the Government puts in place measures to protect this crucial service and the vulnerable families who depend on it.’
The situation is somewhat worse in some areas, due to the lack of council, or housing association housing, which leaves families struggling to find suitable private rented accommodation, which is often more expensive.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said: ‘because the Tory-led Government cut too far, too fast, Britain is gripped by the toxic combination of the worst housing crisis in a generation and the longest double-dip recession since the war.’
‘Affordable housebuilding is down 68% and homelessness up by 26%. For a family to lose their home is heartbreaking. To end up packed into overcrowded rooms in bed and breakfast shames our country and is a shameful failure of a failing Government.’