Labour councillors have discovered that the number of children living in temporary or emergency accommodation at the end of 2015/16 was actually 4,025 - more than triple the number stated by Conservative Housing Boss, Cllr Tom Davey, at the Council meeting two weeks ago.
Cllr Davey said that 1,235 children were living in temporary accommodation in an answer to a question from Cllr Ross Houston, Labour's Housing Spokesperson and Deputy Leader. However, figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government [DCLG] show that figure to be over three times higher - 4,025.
The DCLG data also shows that the number of homeless children in Barnet has been rising for the last three years with 3,863 children in temporary accommodation at the end of 2014/15, and 3,063 at the end of 2013/14.
Cllr Davey, and the Leader of the Council, Cllr Cornelius, recently admitted "that affordable housing may not be affordable enough for some people" following an outburst in a Council question by Conservative Deputy Mayor, Cllr Sury Khatri in which he said of 'affordable housing' "Everyone sane person knows that this is patently not the case, especially for the residents of Mill Hill, if I may so say Barnet too, and their children etc. This is pure and simple insulting residents’ intelligence. Why do we persist in peddling this line?".
Labour councillors point out that the Conservative Council administration continues to fail on delivery of new affordable homes, with only 18 per cent of all new homes in the last year secured in the 'affordable' categories set by government against a local target of 40 per cent.
Labour's Deputy Leader and Housing Spokesperson, Cllr Ross Houston said:
"It is a scandal that we have so many children living in temporary accommodation but the Conservative Council is not doing enough to build more homes that people can actually afford.
“The 1,235 figure for homeless children given to Council by Cllr Davey was bad enough but the Government figure at 4,025 is appalling and more than three times as high. The Tory administration need to get a grip on the seriousness of Barnet’s housing affordability crisis. Year after year the Barnet Tories fail miserably to meet their own affordable housing targets. We need to do far better than this.”
1. Cllr Davey's answer on the number of families and children in temporary accommodation can be found below and in the following link (Question 52 of the July Full Council questions to the Leader):
Total Number of Households in all forms of temporary accommodation (including emergency accommodation) Q4 2015/16: - 2,941
Number of Children in all forms of temporary accommodation Q4 2015/16. This includes nondependents: -
Aged 0-9 months = 22
Aged 9 months to 5 years = 443
Aged 6-10 years = 352
Aged 11-17 years = 386
Unknown D.O.B = 32
Total = 1235
2. The DCLG data on temporary accommodation is published in the following link (see tables for Jan-March for years 2015/16; 2014/15 and 2013/14 - the data is in tab section 6 and then part 9 in the Barnet row - cell BW16 in all tables):
3. Cllr Khatri's council question on affordable housing can be found on p38 of the following report:
For more information contact Cllr Houston: firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568