PARENTS

Nearly 90,000 Children Will Spend Christmas In Emergency Accommodation

24/12/2014 10:46 | Updated 20 May 2015

Girl waiting by the window

Nearly 90,000 children will spend Christmas Day in emergency accommodation as the cost of living soars for Britain's poorest.

More than 60,000 families will spend the festive season in hostels or bed and breakfast accommodation.

The crisis will cause the cost of emergency housing to reach almost £2.8billion by next May.

Annual costs have climbed from £544million in 2010-11 to £574million just two years later - and experts have tipped a continuing rise.

At the same time, there has been a shocking 260 per cent increase in the number of families spending longer than six weeks in B&Bs.

It comes as more than a million households face the misery of fuel poverty this Christmas - forking out a tenth of their income on energy.

One in six can't afford electricity and gas bills and will either shiver through the holidays or get into debt to stay warm.

Figures show the average gap between a family's energy bill and what they can afford is nearly £400 a year.

Almost two in five households in fuel poverty are single-parent families.

Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds said: "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."

Homelessness minister Kris Hopkins said: "This Government has increased spending to prevent homelessness, making over £500 million available to help the most vulnerable in society and has kept strong protections to guard families against the threat of homelessness.

"Councils have a responsibility to move homeless households into settled accommodation as quickly as possible and statistics released recently show a significant fall in the number of families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks."