8,000 children live in temporary homes in Haringey
HARINGEY Council has the highest number of children living in temporary accommodation out of all the local authorities in England, figures show. There were 7,918 children living in short term, often unsuitable housing in 2007, 1,500 more than the next hig
HARINGEY Council has the highest number of children living in temporary accommodation out of all the local authorities in England, figures show.
There were 7,918 children living in short term, often unsuitable housing in 2007, 1,500 more than the next highest council, which was Brent
Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and Lib Dem opposition councillors on Haringey Council are calling for a fundamental review in the way housing is allocated to prioritise the needs of children living in temporary accommodation.
Ms Featherstone said: "Living with the uncertainty of not knowing when you might have to change school or leave your friends is terribly disruptive for child and family stability.
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"Again Haringey is at the top of the worst type of league table. These terrible statistics confirm the sad stories I see week in and week out in my surgery. These families are being let down by Haringey Council's housing system.
"We need an urgent rethink on the borough's housing policy, not weak assurances."
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Adam Sampson, director of Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, said: "It's shocking that, in the 21st century, there are children in Haringey waking up homeless.
"Living in temporary accommodation robs children of security, health and a fair chance in life. The government has said that building more social rented housing is a priority. For these children it can't come soon enough."
Cllr Laura Edge, Haringey Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson, added: "Children should be the heart of housing decisions, not an afterthought. There seems to be an annual closed door review of the housing allocation policy, but nothing seems to change.
"Enough is enough, we cannot continue with a housing allocation policy that so obviously fails the people it is supposed to help."
But Labour Cllr John Bevan, cabinet member for housing, said: "Although Haringey has the second highest number of households living in temporary accommodation, all families with children are provided with self-contained accommodation and a substantial amount of it is good quality, settled accommodation that is leased by the council or a housing association for between three to five years."
Mr Bevan said that Haringey is committed to halving the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation by 2010.
He added: "Wherever possible, the council tries to avoid the displacement of homeless families and the disruption of children's schooling.
"By reducing the number of households living in temporary accommodation, fewer households will be placed outside of the borough. This will help minimise the disruption for families... Where appropriate, additional children in need points are added to the family's housing application, improving their prospects of re-housing.