Children with no homes

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THERE are 26 families with children in Wigan who could be homeless this Christmas.

Latest figures released by Shelter show that between July and September this year, there are four couples with dependants who need emergency housing assistance, plus 20 single mums and two lone dads with youngsters needing accommodation.

Whilst the charity was unable to breakdown how many children were in each household, overall, there are 820 youngsters in the North West who are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

Many of these children are likely to be living in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation.

A spokesman for Wigan Council confirmed that there are currently no families living in these, but instead it uses dispersed housing for emergency cases.

Due to welfare cuts and the soaring cost of housing, it is increasingly difficult for other local authorities to source suitable self-contained temporary accommodation, leaving many with no choice but to place families in bed and breakfasts or hostels.

The charity is therefore calling for temporary accommodation to be exempt from the benefit cap, to prevent more children from facing conditions where they are often in one room.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive said: “These new figures are even worse than we expected.

“It is an absolute disgrace that nearly 85,000 children in Britain face waking up homeless this Christmas morning.

“We’ll be there to help make sure families get the support they need to get back on their feet, as Shelter’s advisors work 365 days a year answering calls for help from families facing homelessness.”