Hundreds of North West children will be 'homeless at Christmas' says leading charity

Shelter's Christmas campaign Photo: Shelter

More than 900 children in the North West will spend this Christmas homeless, a leading charity has warned.

Shelter found that 922 youngsters in the region are living in temporary accommodation.

The number of families across the UK who will spend the festive period in emergency housing is at a 10-year high, the charity said, with more than 80,000 children facing Christmas homeless.

The charity has launched an emergency appeal following an investigation into the "shocking conditions that many homeless children will be living in this Christmas".

Their report, which focused on those living in local B&Bs, concluded: "The majority of the families were living together in one room, while in over half of the cases investigated, children were sharing beds with their parents or siblings.

"Two thirds of families said that their children had no table to eat meals on, and often had to eat on the floor or on the bed."

The charity's warning is based on figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government that show 82,528 children were in temporary accommodation in March this year.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Our shocking findings have uncovered the shameful conditions homeless children will be living in this Christmas.

Campbell Robb of Shelter Credit: Shelter

"Parents and children sharing beds, children forced to eat on the floor and being threatened with violence in the place they live: this shouldn't be happening in twenty-first century Britain.

"No child should be homeless, let alone 80,000. But tragically, with more people struggling to make ends meet and homelessness on the rise, we're bracing ourselves for an increase in demand from families who desperately need our help."

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "We've given councils nearly £1 billion to tackle homelessness, and to support people affected by the welfare reforms so I am very clear that they should be fully able to meet their legal responsibility to house families in suitable accommodation.

"Families should only be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation in an emergency, and even then for no more than six weeks.