Temporary Accommodation

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Temporary Accommodation

Homeless Children in Death Trap Temporary Accommodation

Willow Lane Industrial Estate is home to a plethora of successful businesses in my constituency. From timber windows to motor works, scaffolders to joiners, it is one of the busiest industrial estates in South London. But almost 2 years ago now there was a peculiar change in the estate. The businesses began to notice prams walking before their front doors. They began to notice children playing whilst their lorries and vans raced through. They began to notice hundreds of residents using their working industrial estate as a home.

See for yourself in this harrowing video:

Willow Lane Industrial Estate is home to a plethora of successful businesses in my constituency. From timber windows to motor works, scaffolders to joiners, it is one of the busiest industrial estates in South London. But almost 2 years ago now there was a peculiar change in the estate. The businesses began to notice prams walking before their front doors. They began to notice children playing whilst their lorries and vans raced through. They began to notice hundreds of residents using their working industrial estate as a home.

Connect House is at the heart of Willow Lane Industrial Estate and houses 84 families who have been placed here by four different local authorities: Bromley, Sutton, Croydon and Merton. To reach the nearest amenities, the residents have to walk through the industrial estate itself. Cars line the pavement forcing those families with prams or wheelchairs into the lorry-filled road. It is fair to say that the local workers are simply not expecting 84 families to live within their working industrial estate. A busy car park is no place for the hundreds of children living in this building.

Due to the national government’s policy of getting out of public housing (social housing has halved since 2010) we now have a housing crisis with 120,170 children in temporary emergency housing or on the move every 6 or 12 months due to insecure tenancies. The impact on their education and well-being has not yet been calculated.

Over 28% of 78,180 households in temporary accommodation are housed outside their local authority’s area, a simply remarkable increase of 248% between March 2011 and March 2017. As of June this year, 6,660 households are being temporarily housed in B&Bs – twice as many as in 2011 and almost 3 times as many as when the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

This housing situation is terrible for families and unbelievably expensive for the tax payer. Since 2010 Government has spent an additional £10 billion to house families in temporary or private rented accommodation.

Local authorities can no longer cope. They are doing all they can to keep families off the street. The attached video shows the plight of 84 families and over 200 children living in a south London warehouse. This crisis is every bit as bad as ‘Cathy come home’ in the 60s.

We must call on the Government to ensure temporary housing meets suitable standards; that local authorities have a designated officer made aware of a family’s arrival; and that the law is enforced so that no family is housed in abhorrent B&Bs for longer than 6 weeks.



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