Wishing for a home this Christmas

On Christmas Day, nearly 139,000 children in England will wake up in temporary accommodation. This means that 1 in 85 children in England are currently homeless[1]. Families across the country, including here in Leicestershire, are facing a festive season full of uncertainty and without a secure home.

Throughout the past year at Action Homeless, we have seen demand for our services rising. We receive between 3 and 6 referrals for every bed space we offer. Last year alone, we provided 387 people with a safe place to live but it is getting harder and harder to help people to find a permanent home as we work amidst a housing crisis. New data released by the Homelet Rental Index[2] shows that average rental costs in the East Midlands have increased by a huge 9.5% in the last year with many people unable to keep up with rising payments. Earlier this year, Leicester’s Homelessness Charter reported that only 3% of private sector rentals were affordable to people on low incomes or benefits aligned with local housing allowance rates[3].

This means that there are increasing numbers of people and families who are stuck in temporary accommodation for long periods of time with little prospect of finding an affordable home.

Mark Grant, CEO at Action Homeless said

‘Christmas is a particularly tough time of year for people facing homelessness and we know that many families will go without the things that a lot of people take for granted. The little luxuries that many of us will enjoy like festive food, decorations and gifts, are simply out of reach. We’re doing what we can to bring some seasonal cheer to families living in temporary accommodation but we know what they’d really like for Christmas is a safe and secure home.’

Action Homeless will continue to support both individuals and families affected, offering good quality housing alongside personalised support in an effort to break the damaging cycle of homelessness.

If you’d like to support our work, please consider making a donation. 100% of donations go towards tackling homelessness in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Read more about the impact of our work

[1] https://downloads.ctfassets.net/6sxvmndnpn0s/1kvusq1hw6ca5PbHgXv7We/a3d2c75c210818107615194cab668921/Shelter_Manifesto_2023.pdf

[2] https://homelet.co.uk/-/media/project/barbon/homelet/homelet-documents/homelet-rental-index/homelet-rental-index-report-latest-pdf-report.pdf

[3] https://www.leicesterhomelessnesscharter.co.uk/news/unaffordability-of-housing-in-the-private-rented-sector-the-impact-on-homelessness