Laura Sharman 17 December 2020

Charity warns a quarter of a million people trapped in temporary accommodation

Over a quarter of a million people in England have been living in temporary accommodation throughout the pandemic, a homelessness charity has warned today.

Figures published by Shelter show that 253,000 people are homeless and trapped in temporary accommodation, the highest figure for 14 years.

The analysis also revealed that the number of people living in temporary accommodation jumped by 6,000 shortly after the pandemic struck.

One in six homeless households (17%) are currently placed into emergency B&Bs and hostels, the charity found.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: 'Over a quarter of a million people – half of them children – are homeless and stuck in temporary accommodation. This should shame us all. With this deadly virus on the loose, 2020 has taught us the value of a safe home like never before. But too many are going without, because of the chronic lack of social homes.'

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for the Government to provide long-term investment in homelessness prevention services.

Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson, said: 'With council housing waiting lists set to potentially nearly double as a result of COVID-19, we are calling for councils to be given powers to kickstart a post-pandemic building boom of 100,000 new social homes for rent each year, including reform of Right to Buy.'

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