Why are thousands of homeless London children living ‘temporarily’ in council flats?

Thousands of children and their families are living temporarily in council homes across London, writes Paul Coleman. Some 6,530 such homeless households across London were families with children, according to government figures for the end of March 2019. Some of these families have ‘temporarily’ lived in council properties for up to ten years. However, many of these families will have to move out when these council homes – built originally to house people permanently on secure tenancies – are demolished and ‘regenerated’ with new private homes that they will not be able to afford.

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Maria’s story: the human cost of ‘temporary’ housing

‘We have got a letter to state we are moving out of our dungeon in four weeks. But where to? My blood boils with nerves. Wondering if they will put us in another place like this. I have to stay strong, not only for myself but for my parents as well. I am 14, old enough to understand the consequences of moving. We have to fight for a fairytale – because it does not exist.’ – Maria, 14, north London, on what life is like for the 56,280 families who live – often for many years – in temporary accommodation across London.

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