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Family homelessness crisis in England

21st August 2019

The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) comments on today’s publication of Bleak Houses: Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England by the Children’s Commissioner.

iHV is saddened to learn that 124,000 children are now classed as homeless with some children needing to be housed in shipping containers. The councils blame this on a shortfall in their income of £159 million.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, said:

“Whilst this sounds like a lot of money for the government to find, the actual costs of short, medium and longer term negative consequences for these children and their families on the fiscal purse will be very much more, including costs to the care, health, education, social security and criminal justice budgets.”


There are thousands of children in England who are living in homeless families, stuck in poor quality temporary accommodation, often with low prospects of finding something permanent. There are many others who are at risk of ending up homeless. This report shines a light on this homelessness crisis and shares the experiences of some of those children.




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