The LGA has warned that around 450 primary schools’ worth of homeless children are spending lockdown in temporary accommodation, amid a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
Latest figures for England show there are 127,240 children living in temporary homes, including 1,440 households with children in bed and breakfast accommodation.
The LGA says the numbers underline the urgent need for the Government to ensure more affordable homes for rent are built. It has also set out a six-point plan of further action the Government can take to protect renters, following the extension to the ban on bailiff enforcement action.
The six-point plan includes powers for councils to acquire empty homes and to build much-needed social housing; improved protection through the welfare system for families facing hardship; and an immediate review of the overall benefits cap in the context of the pandemic.
In addition, councils need resources to support households at risk of homelessness, as well as a programme of 100,000 social homes for rent to be delivered each year, and the Government to bring forward its pledge to end ‘no fault evictions’.
Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s Housing Spokesperson, said: “Living in temporary accommodation is disruptive and challenging for children and their families in normal times.These pressures are being compounded by another lockdown, and on top of that some are unable to attend school.
“Our six-point plan would give councils a better chance of being able to move homeless children into permanent accommodation and also minimise the risk of other households becoming homeless as a result of the pandemic.”