Haringey has UK’s highest rate of child homelessness according to charity figures

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill - Credit: David Winskill

More than one in twelve children in Haringey are currently in temporary accommodation, according to a report from homelessness charity Shelter.

But despite ranking as the local authority with the highest rate of families in uncertain living situations nationally, the town hall explained that it had reduced the number of new households placed into temporary accommodation "significantly" over the last two years as it battles the issue.

The council said in 2018/19, 522 househoulds were newly placed in temporary accommodation, down from 809 in 2015/16, and that in the 11 months to November 2019, there had only been 254 households in such a position.

Meanwhile to the south, Westminster ranks as the borough with the third highest rate of child homelessness also one in 12 - though the council said the number of children in temporary accommodation had fallen to "around 3,200" by December 2019, whis approximately 800 less than the figure quoted by Shelter, and said to date from March.

Comparitively, both Camden and Barnet have significantly fewer children in this situation. Camden had the fifth lowest rate of any London borough with, per the statistics, only one in every 81 children living in temporary accommodation. One out of every 47 children in Barnet is in the same situation.

Shelter's chief exec Polly Neate said: "Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the capital. Many are being uprooted from their friends, while others are forced to live in cramped B&Bs and go to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.

"Every child has the right to a safe home."

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A Westminster Council spokesperson said: "There's a shortage of housing across the country and in Westminster we face unique challenges in meeting demand." They added the council was "on track" to build 1,850 "new affordable homes" in by 2023.

Meanwhile a Haringey town hall spokesperson said: "We are strongly committed to preventing families from becoming homeless wherever possible.

"However, the shortage of social housing and alternative housing options means that we are not able to prevent or relieve homelessness in all cases."

The spokesperson added that it had a "strengthened and extensive homelessness prevention service offer" which had helped reduce incidences of families being put into temporary accommodation.