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Child Homelessness: ‘office block kids’

Child Homelessness: ‘office block kids’

A report estimates that more than 210,000 children are homeless.

Some are being housed in temporary accommodation such as converted shipping containers and office blocks.

The Children’s Commissioner for England’s report ‘Bleak Houses’ tells of whole families living in tiny spaces as council blame a £159million funding gap.

Cramped conditions and inhospitable temperatures

The use of temporary accommodation such as converted office blocked and shipping containers is leading to cramped conditions and inhospitable temperatures.

One parent spoke of having to sleep with doors open in summer but being too cold in winter.

The report found that these types of accommodation are not designed with children in mind.

There are many safety concerns:

  • Dangers to close to ground in converted units such as ovens
  • Children in B&Bs using shared facilities
  • Some units in office blocks only measuring 18 metres square with whole families (the average home is 90 square metres)
  • Crime rates increase around converted office buildings

Every child deserves a stable and safe environment to grow in.

These accommodations pave way to stigmatism. Living in such developments some children have been referred to ‘office block kids’. This further heightens feelings of isolation and gaps between peers.

The report also highlights that a further 375,000 children in England are at risk of becoming homeless through rent and mortgage arrears.

Luke Ridge, housing law adviser at Swain & Co Solicitors says,

“Homelessness can become a risk to anyone at any time of their life. Falling behind in mortgage or rent payments can have a huge impact for you, so we urge you to get help as soon as possible to have the best chance of keeping you and your family in your home. Sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and pretend things aren’t happening. But this can make things worse.”

Homelessness doesn’t have to be inevitability.

Speak to a legal advisor to see what action can be taken to keep you in your home.

Luke offers free initial advice to discuss how he can help, and representation may also be free of charge.

Don’t leave it – it isn’t going to go away.

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