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Thousands of children across Suffolk and Essex will be homeless this Christmas Day, according to new report.

PUBLISHED: 15:41 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 December 2017

Thousands of children are expected to wake up homeless or in temporary housing on Christmas Day across Suffolk and Essex. Picture: KAYTE BRIMACOMBE/SHELTER/PA WIRE

Thousands of children are expected to wake up homeless or in temporary housing on Christmas Day across Suffolk and Essex. Picture: KAYTE BRIMACOMBE/SHELTER/PA WIRE

Thousands of children across Suffolk and Essex will be homeless this Christmas Day, according to new report.

Thousands of children across Suffolk and Essex will be homeless this Christmas Day, according to new report.

Shelter has found that 2,472 children in Essex and 229 in Suffolk, will wake up in hostels, B&Bs and halfway houses this Christmas morning.

Across the whole of the East of England, Shelter’s figure reaches a shocking 7,973.

Shelter attributes the rise in child homelessness, now at its highest level in ten years, partially to the ‘worsening housing crisis’ gripping the nation.

In the last year, at least 11 families became homeless every day in the East of England.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter said: “It is a national scandal that the number of homeless children in Britain has risen every year since 2011.

“No child should have to spend Christmas without a home, let alone almost 8,000 children just in the East of England.

“Many of us will spend Christmas day enjoying all of the festive traditions we cherish, but sadly it’ll be a different story for those children hidden away in cramped B&Bs or hostel rooms.

“Imagine living in a noisy strange place full of people you don’t know.”

Shelter’s research found that every family living in emergency and temporary accommodation lived in a single room and a quarter had no access to a kitchen.

Half of families had to share toilet and bathroom, often in filthy conditions and with no lock on the doors and more than a third of parents had to share a bed with their children.

Legally, families are only supposed to be placed into B&Bs for six weeks, but Shelter found that in England, 45 per cent of them stayed beyond this.

Both Essex County Council and Suffolk County Council were approached to comment on the figures, but neither authority did so.

Susie Mills, manage of the Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership said: “It’s also important to remember Christmas is only one day out of the year that a homeless person is homeless.”

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