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Almost 1,000 children homeless this Christmas

Hundreds of children are going to be homeless this Christmas, according to Shelter Credit: PA

Almost 1,000 children in the East Midlands are set to wake up homeless this Christmas, according to housing charity Shelter.

As a result of housing shortages, a number of families are having to live in Bed and Breakfast establishments and hostels.

The charity is warning of the knock-on effects of living in temporary accommodation. Research done with twenty families living in B & Bs and hostels found that:

  • Half of parents said their child's physical health had been negatively affected since living in the B&B or hostel
  • Every family lived in a single room, often with children and parents having to share a bed
  • Most families said their room was in a state of disrepair, and over half of families said their room was not secure
  • Most families had to eat meals on the floor or on their bed as very few had space for a table or a fit communal area to eat in
  • Three quarters had to share toilets and washing facilities with other residents
  • All families who shared a bathroom said they were in poor condition, including reports of unlockable doors, slippery or cracked tiles and dangling electrical wires

YMCA plans more projects like Henrietta Lofts

Speaking at the opening of 24 flats for young people in Birmingham who've previously lived on the streets, the CEO for the Birmingham YMCA, said:

"We have worked very hard on redeveloping the property and it provides much needed housing in Birmingham. This empty building had sat empty for years, but now it is providing much-needed affordable housing for people in the city.

"The development marks a milestone for us and we're planning on brining a further 60 properties back into use through the Government's Empty Homes Community Grants programme.

Henrietta Lofts is a great example of how government investment can help make a scheme feasible that would not have been financially viable with private sector investment alone."

– Alan Fraser, CEO for the Birmingham YMCA
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