This Christmas, 1,600 children in Wales will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation, according to figures released today (3rd December) by Shelter Cymru.
The report, which reveals a 46% rise in the number of families living in B&Bs and hostels over the last four years, coincides with the release of Shelter’s Generation Homeless report – revealing a child becomes homeless in Britain every eight minutes.
According to Shelter Cymru, youth homelessness is also of serious concern – with more than 3,000 young people aged 16 to 24 becoming homeless in the last year.
The charity also revealed that over the last year in Wales, a child became homeless every two hours, while every three hours a young person aged 16 to 24 became homeless.
Following reports, Shelter Cymru is calling on every political party to put housing at the top of its domestic agenda.
John Puzey, director of Shelter Cymru, said: “Living in temporary accommodation is incredibly difficult for anyone, but it is especially hard on children and young people.
“Every day our services work with families who are living in horrible conditions, often single rooms, for months on end.
“Parents are spending hours of their day taking their children to school on public transport, and trying to cook a decent dinner with minimal facilities.
“We need to make sure that all political parties ensure that the benefits system supports families and young people.
“We welcome that the Welsh government has made homelessness and housing need a priority. This must be continued.”
He added: “We know that experiencing homelessness as a child or young person can have lifelong impacts.
“We need your help to stop this from happening. Every donation will mean that Shelter Cymru can be there for the children and young people who need us this Christmas.”
Will Atkinson, Policy and External Affairs Manager at Community Housing Cymru added: “Welsh Government has made a welcome commitment to ending homelessness, with vital funding going into outreach services supporting people off the streets.
“Housing associations have a critical role to play, providing half of the supported accommodation in Wales.
“To end homelessness though, we need to all work together and build strong partnerships between housing associations, local authorities, and public services to end evictions into homelessness and reduce the number of families needing to live in temporary accommodation.”
To donate to Shelter Cymru’s urgent Christmas appeal, visit www.sheltercymru.org.uk/donate.