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130,000 homeless children to be in temporary lodgings over Christmas

More than 130,000 homeless children will be living in temporary accommodation over the festive period in Britain, the equivalent of five youngsters in every school, according to estimates by the homelessness charity Shelter.

Nearly 10,000 of those will wake up on Christmas Day in bed and breakfasts, hotels or hostels where in many cases their family will have been put up in a single room, sharing bathrooms and kitchens with other residents.

Overall, 50,000 more children in England, Wales and Scotland are homeless compared with five years ago, a rise of 59%, Shelter says. There have been particularly sharp increases in some affluent, high housing cost Tory heartlands in south-east England.

Shelter’s figures are calculated using official statistics for numbers of families placed in temporary accommodation after being accepted as homeless by their local authority. There are very few instances of children rough sleeping. Shelter estimates that more than 320,000 people in Britain are homeless.

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