Published 21st August
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, is warning that hundreds of thousands of children will return to school in two weeks with the threat of housing eviction hanging over their families, unless the Government changes its mind and extends its ban on evictions. Her intervention comes as the Children’s Commissioner’s Office publishes a new report revealing the experiences of the thousands of children who had to live in Bed and Breakfast temporary accommodation during the covid-19 lockdown earlier this year. The report highlights the damaging effects eviction and homelessness can have for vulnerable children.
The Children’s Commissioner’s report estimates that 420,000 children in England are in families that are at risk of being evicted. This figure is based on the estimated number of families with children who were in rent arrears in May, and was obtained from a large representative survey of UK households. Using the same survey, a further 640,000 children are in renting families which have been using up their savings or borrowing more in order to make ends meet – these families will be at risk of ending up in rent arrears later on.
The Children’s Commissioner’s Office’s report, “No way out: Children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown”, collected data from the 15 local authorities with the highest numbers of children in B&B accommodation.