Dismore questions Mayor over Child Homelessness

At today’s London Assembly Mayor’s Question Time Labour London Assembly member Andrew Dismore AM challenged the Mayor over the growth of homelessness of families with children in London.

Dismore questions Boris on rise in homeless children from Andrew Dismore on Vimeo.

Mr Dismore asked the Mayor:


‘How many children were in homeless families in London at Christmas 2015?’


When the Mayor was unable to answer, Mr Dismore pointed out that children in homeless families placed in temporary accommodation by Barnet had increased by a third in just 3 years, to almost 4,000 children. In contrast, Labour Camden now has over 100 fewer homeless children in temporary accommodation.


Mr Dismore asked the Mayor if he agreed with Barnet Homes, as to the reason for the increase in Barnet:


‘Barnet Homes, which deals with the borough’s social housing stock, says the increase is down to private sector rents, welfare reform and a shortage of affordable housing. These are all issues which you and the Conservative Government can deal with. Don’t you feel ashamed that so many children have no permanent home? And why can Labour Camden get to grips with the issue and bring the numbers down, whilst Conservative Barnet are seeing the scale of homelessness amongst its families spiral ever upwards?’


After Question Time Mr Dismore said:


‘The Mayor’s answer demonstrates a woeful complacency. He has no shame for the Conservatives’ failure at every level to provide children with a permanent home, despite accepting the need for this. His failure to understand that the spiraling rise in private sector rents, and the effect of benefit cuts on homelessness shows how out of touch he and his party are.


Under Boris Johnson far too few genuinely affordable homes have been built. We will only make real progress with a Labour administration at City Hall as Labour Camden have demonstrated how progress can be made.