'I don’t know from one day to the next if I am going to be forced to leave this place but I’ve got nowhere else to go'

Shelter estimates more than 100,000 children will be homeless by this Christmas.

The charity said the number of children living in temporary accommodation is at its highest level since 2008.

With councils under pressure from the affordable housing shortage, the number of families living in B&Bs rose by 25% in the last 12 months and has more than trebled in the last five years.

Lauren and her four-year-old daughter Persia moved into temporary accommodation in January 2015 when Lauren was evicted from the home she rented privately.

Here, Lauren shares her experience with ITV News of what met them when they arrived at their new home.

When I first saw the temporary accommodation I was shocked, there was mould in the wardrobes; cupboards were broken and there was glass in the garden.

It was awful but at least I had a roof over my head.

My daughter Persia is only four and as a parent you feel utterly guilty. It’s very unsettling for her because families come and go all the time, so just when she gets used to people or makes a friend, they move on again.

Cupboards were broken in the kitchen. Credit: Lauren

We sleep on a mattress on the floor in my room. They gave my daughter a tiny box room but it’s not adjoining mine and with so many strangers in the house, I don’t want her sleeping in a room away from me.

We share the toilet and bathroom. Most people are fine but occasionally you might be living with someone with very bad hygiene.

You have to queue to clean your teeth and to go to the toilet. We only have one toilet because the downstairs one leaks and is broken.

The state of the kitchen sink when they moved in. Credit: Lauren

We have a cupboard in the kitchen for our food and half a shelf in the fridge so it’s difficult to keep enough fresh food in.

I told the council several times that it wasn’t a suitable place for a little girl but nothing improved.

The landlord has now issued an eviction notice because the council say they no longer have any obligation to help us.

I never imagined this would happen to me. I worked for 15 years in the mobile phone industry and had a good job, but after the birth of my daughter I suffered from depression and as I struggled to cope, I got behind on my rent and was evicted from my home.

Mould on the bath. Credit: Lauren

I don’t know from one day to the next if I am going to be forced to leave this place, but I’ve got nowhere else to go.


I’m re-training and trying to get a property of my own but I’d need more than £2,500 upfront because rents are now so high.