Hundreds of children in Bolton will be in temporary accommodation this Christmas, new data suggest.

The housing charity Shelter's research shows the number of homeless people across England rose by 14 per cent in the last year.

The figures show 498 people are estimated to be homeless in Bolton this year.

Of these, 487 live in temporary accommodation – organised by social services, the council or themselves – including 245 children.

Meanwhile, 11 of the total will be sleeping rough in Bolton.

The Bolton News:

Billa Ahmed Co-founder of Bolton charity Homeless Aid UK, says that he believes the situation has become worse, and says there are a lot of reasons when it comes to the figures.

He said: “I see the situation is getting worse.

“I was reading the other day that 139,000 children in England are gonna wake up homeless at Christmas with nowhere to go.

“And the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation is reaching record highs.

“This is not just happening in Bolton but happening across the UK.

“Some of it is to do with the cost-of-living-crisis, which includes things like inflation, high food prices, high utility bills, fuel bills, and insurances.

“Everything is going through the roof at the moment.

“And for the landlords, mortgages are going up, and so rent is going up, and they are not in line with what the housing benefits are.

The Bolton News: “Something definitely needs to be done because the landlords can’t afford the mortgages, so they are having to evict families, because they are not getting the money, which is line with what they have to pay.

“There are many other reasons as well, including evictions from privately rented homes, and sometimes they are unfair evictions.”

Billa also said there is an issue when it comes to social housing which also plays its part, as well as personal unexpected events happening in people’s lives.

He said: “Bolton Council are doing as much as they can, but if there are no properties available, where are they going to put them?

“There are other factors as well such as unexpected life events like people losing their jobs, relationship breakdowns, and mental health is on the increase as well.

“We need more affordable social housing for those who have been evicted because of rent.”

Shelter said the "housing emergency is out of control” and called on the Government to take the issue seriously.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Homelessness is on nobody’s Christmas list, but 309,000 people will spend this time of year in a tiny hostel room or freezing in a doorway."

Homeless figures are snapshots or estimates of the problem, and they often undercount the true number.

The Bolton News: Homeless Aid UK helping people at their soup kitchensMs Neate blamed the housing emergency on "chronic underinvestment" in social homes, with people unable to afford rising rents.

She said: "It is appalling that the Government has allowed thousands of families to be packed into damp and dirty B&Bs and hostel rooms, which are traumatising children and making people desperately ill.

"Until the Government takes this emergency seriously, our frontline services will do everything they can to help people keep or find a safe home this winter.

"It is only with the public’s support we can continue to provide vital advice and support and fight for the solutions people want and need to end homelessness."

In England, one in 182 people are homeless.

This is compared to one in 594 in Bolton.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said it is spending £2 billion on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.

A DLUHC spokesperson said temporary accommodation is "an important way of making sure no family is without a roof over their head", but councils must ensure it is temporary and suitable for families' needs.

Funding to address homelessness includes £1 billion given to councils to financially support people moving out of temporary accommodation.

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