Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Barnardo’s: Tower Hamlets fails homeless children in B&Bs

By on April 27, 2015 in Tower Hamlets

Another shameful ‘worst of’ for our borough as Barnardo’s releases figures showing that Tower Hamlets is the worst London borough for accommodating homeless families with children in B&Bs for more than six weeks – the maximum allowed by law.

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Barnardo’s is calling for changes to the housing and benefits system to stop scores of homeless children being put up in bed and breakfast accommodation in Tower Hamlets for longer than the law allows.

Protect the vulnerable, don’t punish them

“It is unacceptable that so many children are living in temporary accommodation in the UK’s capital city,” said Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo’s in London.

“Many of the vulnerable families and young people we work with in London are being plunged into hardship, rent arrears, and homelessness by welfare reform measures such as the bedroom tax.

We are calling on all parties to ensure that the benefits system is adequate to protect vulnerable families, not punish them. This means lifting the ‘bedroom tax’ if there is no other available accommodation for families and re-instating ring-fenced emergency funding for families in financial crisis.”

Surge in homelessness

The children’s charity says families who are stuck in B&Bs for long periods are among the worst affected by a surge in homelessness, which is now at a six-year high.

Four fifths of the UK’s homeless children live in London, with 72,110* children placed in temporary accommodation around the capital.

Most are put up in short-term social or private rented housing, but at the end of last year 450 families with children were left in unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation for long periods.

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