128,000 children will be spending Christmas in temporary accommodation
JEREMY CORBYN condemned Theresa May yesterday over her government’s record on homelessness, accusing her of failing to tackle the growing problem.
The Labour leader demanded during PMQs that Ms May pledge to reduce the number of children living in temporary accommodation by next December.
He said it was now “too late” for the families of more than 100,000 children stuck in bed and breakfast hotels to find a permanent place by Christmas.
He said the “sad reality” is one in 100 children is homeless at any one time in Britain.
“When Labour left office, the number of children in temporary accommodation was a lot less than it is now,” he continued.
“I asked the Prime Minister for a pledge to reduce the amount of homelessness next year — the pledge was not forthcoming.”
As a result he said that 128,000 children will spend Christmas without their own home – 60 per cent up on 2010.
Mr Corbyn added: “It’s too late for this Christmas, but will the Prime Minister promise that by Christmas 2018 fewer children will be without a home to call their own?”
Ms May replied: “We, of course, want every child to wake up in their own home, particularly at Christmas.
“But it is incredibly important people know they can keep a roof over their heads, even in the most desperate circumstances.
“That’s why we’re making sure councils can place families in a broader range of homes if they fall into these circumstances.”
Mr Corbyn also said that, since the Tories came into power in 2010, homelessness was up by 50 per cent and rough-sleeping had doubled.
She pledged £500 million into tackling homelessness.
He also tackled her over plans to deliver one-for-one replacement for every council house sold under the right to buy scheme, with only one in five replaced.
Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “We desperately need more genuinely affordable homes, but the Conservatives’ right-to-buy means council homes are being sold off and communities are losing out.
“Too often these homes become buy-to-let investments rather than family homes, with higher rents costing the taxpayer millions more in housing benefit.”
More than four in 10 council homes sold off under right-to-buy are now let out by private landlords, and the proportion has increased by 7 percentage points in the past two years.
“Labour will invest in the biggest council housebuilding programme in more than 30 years, and to ensure that areas can build and retain council homes for local people we will suspend the right to buy, allowing councils to reinstate it only if they can prove a plan to replace homes sold one-for-one and like-for-like.”