Children Need Greater Prioritisation in Government’s Housing Plan
Today’s update on activity relating to the Government’s Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness has revealed just how much more has to be done for children.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said, “The volume of families and children affected by the housing crisis during recent years is unprecedented and it cannot be solved overnight. While we commend the Government’s continued efforts to provide sufficient housing for all families, it is clear essential supports to reduce the volume of families becoming homeless and to mitigate the effects of homelessness on children need to be stepped up.
“Free school transport and free pre-school places for children living in emergency accommodation is welcome, as is the prioritisation of their involvement in the School Completion Programme. But we cannot underestimate the impact being homeless has on children. Therefore we must urgently provide families with practical supports, such as access to hygienic cooking facilities to provide nutritious food plus access to laundry facilities. We also need to acknowledge the desperate need for children to have a safe space to play, do their homework and have some normal family time.”
Ms Tinsley added, “We commend the Government’s efforts to end the use of hotels as emergency accommodation for families by summer 2017 and will monitor progress in this area. Barnardos is also acutely aware of the plight of those children at risk of homelessness and currently living in unstable, overcrowded and substandard accommodation. We would like to see these children also prioritised within the School Completion Programme, for services such as breakfast and homework clubs and a greater availability of housing stock so they can move out of their current situation.”
Note to editors
Read Barnardos briefing paper The Hidden Housing Crisis