“A child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes – this is a national emergency.” Shelter exposes the legacy of this Conservative government.

“A child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes – this is a national emergency.” Shelter exposes the legacy of this Conservative government.

Polly Neale, the head of Shelter, tells like it is in an article for inews. 

We reprint extracts from her article so you can ask politicians on the hustings about what they are going to do about the housing crisis. 

Polly Neale says in her article:


“Our frontline services at Shelter are almost overwhelmed with the suffering, fear, chaos and trauma that homelessness causes in the lives of children and their families across the country. It is a national emergency. A child becomes homeless every eight minutes in Britain. That’s 183 children a day. Enough children to fill two and a half double-decker buses…

….Our new report Generation Homeless reveals the overall number of homeless children in Britain currently stands at an unforgiveable 135,000 – the highest number in 12 years. No-one should be ok with this….

…This misery is the consequence of decades of failure to build enough social homes, which has trapped millions in insecure, and grossly expensive private renting. There are currently more than a million households on waiting lists for a social home, and yet a pitiful 6,287 new social homes were delivered last year – a figure which has actually fallen by six per cent on the year before.

Add to this several years of government cuts to housing benefit and you’ve got all the ingredients for the housing crisis we see today – the effects of which are being felt by homeless children all over the country. In some parts of London one child in every 12 is homeless, in Brighton it’s one in 30 and in Manchester one in every 47 children 

are without a home.

Homelessness is trauma

Homelessness is trauma, and trauma has lasting effects. If we let this continue, we must face the fact that we are blighting lives. I don’t believe we can allow more children to carry the effects of homelessness into adulthood. If 135,000 homeless children are not enough to focus the minds of the next government, then I don’t know what is.

Every day that passes without change has huge consequences. Between now and the general election on 12 December another 1,647 children will be made homeless and 4,026 by Christmas Day. There is no time to waste.

That’s why we want every political party to commit to building the social homes that our country desperately needs. Political promises about ending homelessness will amount to nothing if we don’t have the homes for people to live in. You can’t end homelessness without homes. It really is as simple as that. We need at least 90,000 social homes a year over the next Parliament, and three million in the next 20 years. It’s been done before and it can be done again.”


You can read the full article here:


If you look at the Conservative Manifesto you will see that in the section entitled ‘Delivering the Housing that People Need’ the Conservatives make no promise to build more desperately-needed social rent homes.

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