Councils flout B&B rules for families, charity claims

Local authorities are exploiting a legal loophole to house families in bed and breakfast accommodation for extended periods, according to a children’s rights charity. The findings are published today by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), which accuses policymakers of allowing progress on a number of young people’s rights to drift “backwards” while they focus on Brexit. The areas of concern flagged by The State of Children’s Rights in 2018 report, span housing, policing, education and mental health. The report highlights how the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has dominated the political debate at a time when the number of children living in relative poverty in the UK (after housing costs) increased to 4.1 million in 2016/17, “making it difficult to secure attention for issues affecting children”. The report provides fresh analysis of children’s legal position and new freedom of information (FOI) data. According to the responses from 58 per cent of 353 councils approached, in 2017, almost two thirds of families with children who were housed in council-owned bed and breakfast accommodation, remained there for longer than six weeks. This equated to 1,056 of the 1,641 families in council-owned B&Bs and hotel-style accommodation. “The real number is likely to be much higher,” the report states. Read more.

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