Children living in poverty suffer from multiple house moves, shock report reveals

Zardoz Greek zardos777 at
Sat Apr 1 16:57:42 BST 2017

Children living in poverty suffer from multiple house moves, a shock report reveals
Heart-breaking stories from children show they are bearing the brunt of living in poverty

ByMark Ellis 00:00, 27 MAR 2017 Updated12:25, 27 MAR 2017

Children are bearing the brunt of growing up in poverty with their lives blighted by multiple house moves, a shock report reveals.

Heart-breaking stories from children themselves show how their lives are affected by frequent moves to escape rat-infested housing, fleeing violence or because they’ve been evicted.

One child moved home 9 times by the age of 9 and attended four schools, according to a new report by The Children’s Society, based on a three-year study with Bath University, tracking the lives of 60 children.

Children were found to be shouldering many of the burdens of growing up in poverty: making long journeys to school, having to stay indoors in unsafe neighbourhoods and struggling to keep close friendships after moving area or school.

The charity’s report said the divisions between poor children and their better-off classmates became more marked at secondary school where some , particularly teenage boys, spoke of going hungry.

Children also reported being punished for breaking school rules on uniform and other equipment because their family couldn’t afford the right kit.
Read More

    Education funding crisis as every secondary school faces losing six teachers due to Tory cuts

Children are being moved to escape sub-standard accommodation (Photo: Getty Images)

Far from being too young to understand their families’ money worries, children instead were found to be keenly aware. They said they didn’t want to ask their parents for money or items they needed because they knew their parents had little to spare.

One nine-year-old girl said she and her brothers took it in turns to beg strangers or friends and family for money when family finances reached breaking point.

One 11-year-old boy told researchers: “I’m just thinking why couldn’t they let us live in one place instead of keep moving around… if we stay there for two, three, four months then we have to start packing again, then we have to leave, unpack. Yes, it just keeps going like that.”

A boy,10, said:”Some of the houses had a problem, like… there were rats… Then when we moved to [the next place] there was just dead rats, they were just dead and no-one took them out.”
Children in poverty are all too aware of their situation (Photo: Getty Images)

On school costs, a boy,11, said:”You get dinner and a pudding and then you go to, like, the sandwich place and just get a drink, but that will be £2.30, but you only get £1.85 for a free school meal.”

Another boy,aged 11, said:”Sometimes I save [my pocket money] up but sometimes I spend it on shopping like food, toilet roll, butter, bread, stuff like that.”

The charity is calling for the government to ensure that financial support for housing costs increases in line with local rents for families who are renting privately.
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(Photo: The Children's Society)

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: “The heart-breaking testimonies of children in this report offer a glimpse into the harsh realities of life for the 4m children growing up in poverty in the UK.

“Moving from place to place, living in neighbourhoods where they are frightened to go outside, and travelling for hours to get to school are pressures that no child should have to deal with.

“Yet for some of the children we interviewed, these have become normal parts of their lives. This lack of stability and security is hugely damaging to children’s wellbeing and could have long term repercussions for their mental health.”

On Sat, 1/4/17, Zardoz Greek zardos777 at [Diggers350] <Diggers350-noreply at> wrote:

 Subject: [Diggers350] Barnet housing scheme where 'rabbit hutch' homes are smaller than a Travelodge room [1 Attachment]
 To: "yahoogroups" <diggers350 at>
 Date: Saturday, 1 April, 2017, 1:02
       London housing scheme where 'rabbit hutch'
 homes are smaller than a Travelodge room
 Mark Dorman
 Yahoo Finance UK28 March 2017
 Residents have described homes in the plans for Barnet House
 as rabbit hutches (Getty Images)
 View photos
 Residents have described homes in the plans for Barnet House
 as rabbit hutches (Getty Images)
 Dozens of residents have hit out at plans to squeeze more
 than 250 studio flats into an 11-storey office block
 The smallest is just 16sq metres, half the size of a room at
 a Travelodge, prompting some to claim the development is
 Others among the dozens of objections likened the proposed
 development to a series of “dog kennels” or “rabbit
 hutches”, while another said: “People are not cattle. In
 fact, I would object to cattle having to live this
 Plans for Barnet House, which is currently sub-let as
 offices by Barnet Borough Council, show almost all of the
 254 flats will be smaller than the national minimum space
 standards of 37 sq metres (44 sq yards) for a single
 However, under newly relaxed planning laws, this is legal as
 it would be making use of underused office space for much
 needed housing.
 As such, while Barnet Borough Council objects to the
 application, it cannot reject it on grounds of the size of
 the homes proposed.
 An illustration of the size of flats on the 7th floor of the
 proposed scheme
 View photos
 An illustration of the size of flats on the 7th floor of the
 proposed scheme
 Developer Meadow Partners is working with HKR Architects on
 the proposal. Neither wanted to comment.
 Barnet council said that it has a sub-lease on Barnet House
 until 2032. Prior approval is subject to a 21-day
 consultation so residents can have a say but the local
 planning authority can only consider transport and highways
 impacts of the development, contamination risks on the site
 and flooding risks on the site.
 Decisions on prior approval do not go before its planning
 committee and such developments are exempt from planning
 If Barnet House follows the office to residential
 “permitted development” route then the council will not
 be able to apply its residential space standards.
 READ MORE: Home ownership becoming a ‘distant dream’ for
 READ MORE: Move or improve? Here’s 10 top tips to add
 value to your home
 READ MORE: Council tax bills to rise in nine out of 10
 English local authorities
 “It is always difficult for a local authority when
 something is happening in its area over which it has no
 control,” said Cllr Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet
 “The government has given developers power to convert
 businesses premises into residential premises under
 permitted development.
 “The sizes of some of the flats would not be what we think
 are appropriate living spaces for our residents and we do
 not support the scheme in its current form.”
 Young people are increasingly being priced out of
 Britain's housing market (Christopher Furlong/Getty
 View photos
 Young people are increasingly being priced out of
 Britain’s housing market (Christopher Furlong/Getty
 Bank of mum and dad
 Home ownership has fallen among 25-29 year-olds by more than
 half in the last 25 years from 63% in 1990 to 31% most
 recently, a report by the Social Mobility Commission
 The Commission, a government advisory body, said a
 historically high proportion of young people was relying on
 the bank of mum and dad to finance their first-time house
 Earlier this year, Sajid Javid, the communities minister
 admitted Britain’s housing market was broken as average
 prices were now 7.5 times average salaries. He said home
 ownership was a “distant dream” for young families.
 Recent house price data shows just how difficult it is for
 millennials to get on the property ladder as average asking
 prices hit £310,108, according to Rightmove.
 Objections mount
 Neighbours of the scheme in Barnet were practically
 unanimous in their objections, however.
 One decried the “dog kennel-size accommodation”,
 describing it as “immoral”, while another wrote: “This
 is no way to treat human beings.”
 Another commented: “To provide 254 units, most of which
 are tiny cubicles, only suited to student or similar use in
 this location is a travesty of what proper planning control
 is supposed to be about.”
 Others objected to the “tiny, cramped” spaces offering
 not even a basic standard of living, and raised concerns
 about the impact on local GP services, schools and
 “Why not at least halve the number of flats allowed and
 provide people with decent places to live. London also needs
 affordable social housing as well as pricier flats too. And
 families will inevitably end up living in these ridiculous
 ‘hutches’,” another resident said.
 Only three commenters appeared to support the scheme, citing
 the need for affordable housing in the area.
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