Photo credit: NEFATRON via photopin cc

Official figures show nearly 70,000 families will spend this Christmas housed in temporary accommodation, say Labour.

Local authority figures, analysed by the Labour Party, show 60,940 families will be spending this Christmas in emergency temporary accommodation, including 87,420 children – up 20% since 2010.

Tens of thousands of families are being housed in temporary accommodation, some of which may be unsafe or unsuitable for children, at a cost of nearly £2.8bn to taxpayers over the course of the current parliament.

The figures also suggest the use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation to house homeless families has more than doubled since 2010 to 15,260 families.

Labour claim the government has presided over the lowest levels of housebuilding in peacetime since the 1920s, with the number of homes build for social rent at its lowest level for over two decades.

The affordable homes budget has dropped by 60% since David Cameron and the coalition government took office in 2010, say Labour.

Labour say working people have seen their household income fall by an average of £1,600 a year under the coalition, making it more difficult for people to afford to keep a roof over the heads.

And Labour claim punitive policies like the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ have made the situation even worse.

Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, said:

“These figures show the scale of David Cameron’s failure to tackle the housing shortage which is central to the cost-of-living crisis.

“It is a tragedy that tens of thousands of families will be spending their Christmas in emergency accommodation but it is also costing the taxpayer more with local authorities set to spend billions on emergency accommodation over this parliament because of the Government’s failure.

“Rising housing costs and low pay have made it more and more difficult for people to stay in their family home and the Government’s failure to build the affordable homes we need and policies like the Bedroom Tax have made things worse.

“Labour is committed to tackling this crisis by building more homes, increasing the national minimum wage, getting a fairer deal for private renters and abolishing the unfair Bedroom Tax.”