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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Child Homelessness: Is the Rental Sector to Blame?

Image credits: LettingAgentTODAY

The UK is facing a record high in child homelessness, with almost 139,000 children living in temporary accommodation, according to Shelter.

This figure, a 14% increase from last year, is a stark reminder of the housing crisis we're facing. But, is the private rental sector to blame?

Shelter's CEO, Polly Neate, certainly thinks so. She points to a lack of social homes and sky-high private rents as key contributors to the surge in homelessness. Families are left in temporary accommodation for months, even years, their lives packed into boxes, always on the move.

But, it's not just about homelessness. The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) reveals that tenant demand is at an all-time high, with 71% of landlords reporting increased demand in Q3 2023. Demand is particularly strong in the West Midlands, Wales, and the South East.

However, it seems landlords are struggling to meet this demand. More than 10% sold property in Q3 2023, and 28% plan to reduce their rental properties over the next year. This imbalance between supply and demand could further impact tenants' purchasing power and put housing benefit gains at risk.

While it's clear that the private rental sector is under pressure, it's also evident that the solution isn't straightforward. We need a concerted effort from all stakeholders to address this crisis and ensure every child has a place to call home.

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