By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Shelter blames private rental sector for growing child homelessness

Shelter says there are nearly 139,000 children officially homeless and living in temporary accommodation - and it’s blaming the private rental sector, in part.

The campaigning charity, in a statement which also refers to its annual winter fundraising appeal, says the 139,000 figure is a record high and up 14 per cent on last year.   

Polly Neate, chief executive, says: “We’ve hit yet another shameful record in the housing emergency, with nearly 139,000 children now facing spending Christmas without a safe and secure place to call home. 


“Decades of failure to build enough social homes combined with record-high private rents has resulted in more and more families being plunged into homelessness. For most this will mean months or even years in temporary accommodation, where their lives are stuffed into cardboard boxes and they can be forced to move at the drop of a hat.   

"To turn the tide on homelessness, the government must commit to building 90,000 genuinely affordable social homes a year.” 

It claims some 7,500 families with children are living in hostels and B&Bs and says these are “often found to be the worst type of temporary accommodation where entire families are cramped into one room, forced to share beds and deal with safety hazards like faulty electrics and mould.”

New figures also show that over 73,600 households faced homelessness in England between April and June 2023 – up 3,000 on last year.  

Separate data released by the National Residential Landlords Association shows that some 71 per cent of landlords reported increased tenant demand in Q3 2023, a record high. 

This is up from 65 per cent the same time last year, and 22 per cent in Q3 2019 before lockdown measures were introduced by the Government.

The survey, conducted by the research consultancy BVA-BDRC, found that demand is strongest in the West Midlands, where 76 per cent of landlords reported increased tenant demand, followed by 75 per cent saying the same in Wales and 74 per cent in the South East (excluding London).

Despite record demand, more than one in 10 landlords said they sold property in Q3 2023. This is more than double the five per cent of landlords who confirmed they purchased property in the same period.

Similarly, 28 per cent of respondents said they plan to cut the number of properties they rent out over the next 12 months. This contrasts with the eight per cent of landlords who plan to increase the number they let over the coming year.

The NRLA warns that the ongoing imbalance between the demand for, and supply of, private rented housing will continue to erode the purchasing power of tenants. Crucially, this will put any gains which result from the Chancellor’s decision to unfreeze housing benefit rates at risk.

  • icon

    Grow some Polly and admit that you're a lot to do with this problem.

  • Billy the Fish

    The finger should be pointed 100% at govt policy as that is driving these horrendous homelessness figures.
    Remove the tax regs on landlords, the PRS becomes investable again, supply improves, rents stabilise. Govt policy.
    Plus of course the sinful right to buy started in Thatchers time but importantly permitted by both parties in power since. Govt policy.
    The lack of social housing is simply part of the drive to create markets in every inch of society. Govt policy.
    We’re also going through the largest drop in living standards since records began. Much of it relates to Govt policy.
    When are people going to wake up to politicians/the political system being the problem?

  • icon

    Simple answer Shelter. You home them. The charity (Business) that houses no one . That constantly digs at the sector that house tens of thousands of families with children.


    Oh they house no one and you know that do you..At least there on the side of the homeless unlike some.


    Look everyone, SBR has woken up. Go on then, Sandra, name one person that Shelter has housed and it is THEY’RE not there!


    @SBR What is your relationship to Shelter? Do you work for them? If not do you know even the slightest thing about them? Do you know, for example, that they supported extra tax on landlords, admitting that it would increase rents, whilst at the same time taking funding from one of the biggest build to rent providers in the country? In Shelter's annual accounts they said that the company (L&G) collaborated with them on policy! Do you think that L&G would do very well from reduced competition and higher rents?

  • jeremy clarke

    Oh it must be Christmas, polly's got the begging bowl out using a survey of about 5 people, a lot of bu**@#*t and her usual denial that shelter caused this to get people to donate money so her salary gets paid.

  • icon

    Polly Bleat blames the PRS with unsubstantiated allegations as usual. If you are that bothered, Polly, open the bulging Shelter purse and actually house someone.

    I am another landlord that is selling up and leaving the PRS because of your loathing of landlords and government policies. However none of my tenants will be homeless or contacting you because they are all professionals who look after properties and pay rent on time.

  • icon

    Yes I know that for a fact. Read there web site call them and ask. Ignorance is bliss for some. Sandra bowes Rennox.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    It's obviously National Irony Day! Polly bemoans the shrinking PRS whilst ignoring her role in that. What is more, the general tone implies that these homes are not housing people. Whilst children need a safe home, we all do- so as long as housing is occupied I don't think we can blame housing providers for WHO gets housed.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up