Thanet children in temporary accommodation this Christmas revealed in Shelter report

Children without a home in Thanet

Research from charity Shelter has revealed that 155 children in Thanet are homeless and living in temporary accommodation (as of March 2019).

The figure is a slight improvement on 2017 when 187 children in Thanet were expected to be homeless over Christmas.

In the south east 11,680 children are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, according to the report launched today (December 3). That figure is a rise of 95% in the last five years.

For the first time the charity has exposed the frequency with which children are becoming homeless in the region. Its Generation Homeless report reveals 20 children lose their home every day in the South East.

The report also shines a light on the 460 families with children in the region currently living in emergency B&Bs and hostels – widely considered the worst type of accommodation.

Families are often squashed into one room with little space to cook, play or eat their meals; are forced to share bathrooms with strangers; and the accommodation is often miles away from schools, jobs and loved ones.

With a severe lack of social homes, expensive private rents and welfare cuts driving the country’s housing emergency, Shelter is warning that if nothing changes 180 children across the South East will be made homeless between now and the time of the general election on December 12 and 440 by Christmas day on December 25.

Shelter Christmas appeal

The charity is calling on every political party to put housing at the top of its domestic agenda and is asking the public to support its urgent Christmas appeal.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The fact 20 children in the South East become homeless every day is a scandalous figure, and sharp reminder that political promises about tackling homelessness must be turned into real action.

“Day in, day out we see the devastating impact the housing emergency is having on children across the region. Many are being uprooted from their friends, while others are forced to live in cramped B&Bs and go to bed at night scared by the sound of strangers outside.

“Every child has the right to a safe home and if we act now, our frontline advisers can support more homeless families in the South East to get to a better place. Every donation will help Shelter to be there for everyone who need us this Christmas.”

To donate to Shelter’s urgent Christmas appeal please visit or text SHELTER to 70030 to donate £3. Texts cost your standard network rate + £3. Shelter receives 100% of your donation.

Local authority





Medway Towns

Number of children that are homeless and living in Temporary Accommodation as at March 2019



Total number of children in population




Rate of homeless children (1 in x children)




National rank





Tunbridge Wells7428,219381117
Tonbridge & Malling5931,646536143
Folkestone & Hythe2022,5571,128209

In need of a home

There are approximately 2,645 households registered on Thanet’s housing waiting list and some 111 placed in temporary accommodation.

Thanet council owns 3,021 homes, which are currently managed by East Kent Housing, but demand has outstripped supply.

To tackle this the authority has undertaken its own scheme of building or refurbishing 150 homes by 2020 at a cost of £30million.

Some £14million has been spent on housing schemes across Thanet. These projects include a new build programme, Margate Housing Intervention project, Empty Homes Project 2012-15, and King Street intervention.

The council also plans to create its own housing company by April 1, 2020. The company would enable the council to directly buy land and build properties.

It is hoped the project will mean better standard housing, better management and more affordability for residents.

Get help

Contact RISE on 01843 577277 – or 01843 577 000 in an emergency out of hours.

Drop ins:

Wednesday 9.30am-12pm Margate Gateway

Tuesday 2pm-4pm GAP Baptist Church, Broadstairs

Email: [email protected]


  1. It terrible that so many families are homeless and having to wait years on the waiting list. There are hundreds of elderly retired in Thanet living in 3/4 bedroom property’s. Struggling to maintain them. The council should have an scheme whereby the council could offer an incentive to buy local houses occupied by just one or two people who would like to moved into one or two bedroom flats. It would free-up a lot homes for families and take the worry away from the elderly regarding security and the the cost of maintaining their property’s.

    • If an elderly person owns a large house and wants to downsize and move, what’s stopping them? By doing so, they will release cash from their home.
      Not sure what you are saying? Why do they need an incentive from the council?

  2. A little balance would not go amiss, how many are housed each day? How many of those families have been lost their homes as a result,of not paying the rent, anti social behaviour, etc.
    Whilst there are no doubt large numbers on housing lists how many of those are actually living in emergency accomodation or deemed homeless? There are many who would choose to be in social housing given the choice.
    The council has properties of its own that are under occupied but does not choose to use the spare room supplement/ bedroom tax to encourage people to downsize, why should someone in their own home be encouraged/ asked to downsize ?
    Thanet district council within its selective licensing area can prosecute landlords who overcrowd their properties based on the harm it can do the occupants, but where the overcrowding is “tenant instigatedl” nothing is done but the same harm is caused?
    This removes the opportunity for those willing to choose to live in what the council determines to be overcrowding the right to do so, so forcing families to take on larger more expensive properties.
    Look at the “local housing allowance “ rates for the area and local rents, the local housing allowance is meant to give those in receipt access to 30% of the rented market, thanks to the freeze this is actually limited to about 5-10% of the rental market.
    Thanet district council may be making great noises about building new houses but this has been done to the detriment of the management and maintenance of their existing stock, see the recent headlines regarding TDC and EKH, any private landlord acting in a similar manner would be branded a rogue and the council would try to take action against them, we’re not hearing those noises though.

  3. Define “Child” please!
    I have never witnessed homeless children in Thanet, only the adult drug nut’s, and adult anti-social homeless.

    • It’s the definition of homeless rather than child that is more important. Just about no child will be sleeping on the streets but being in a bnb or hostel or any other temporary accomodation is classed as homeless, not sure of the exact definition.

  4. That’s right, argue over definition rather than how these kids have got where they are. Typical of the over educated we seem to have too many of. It’s simple 95% increase in 5 years. Just remind me whose been running the economy. Don’t bother, if you don’t know its because you’re one of the thieves otherwise known as the Conservatives.

  5. No ones arguing, just pointing out how these numbers are arrived at and how the language is important , to some people homeless means sleeping rough. As to how we’ve got here, 30 plus years of failed planning, provision ,forecasts for the amount of housing we require along with an economy that doesn’t create enough wealth to provide whats required , whether that be high enough wages for those that wish to buy or social provision unable to get on the ladder for whatever reason.
    Shelter is little more than a political lobby group, ask how many people it has actually housed and where the money it raises goes.

  6. The problem here is TDC , I live in a 3 bed house on my own now since my wife died and children left home, I have tried to move several times but the rent is more, yes even for a flat, one also has a new tenancy not the same rights that i have had for 40 years , i have to have written permission for a pet for example.
    No doubt i will get some comeback on this but wheres the insentive by TDC ,
    To move home after 40 years, to pay more rent (a few are about the same) to start all again with a new tenancy. There are many more in the same situiation as me

  7. I don’t think anyone would expect you to be worse off whilst trying to do the right thing, seems you’re stuck in some sort of beaurocratic limbo created under the reforms to the social rented sector, a tenancy agreement created 40 years ago is not really going to be fit for todays age, but common sense would suggest there should be some sort of transitionary process for those in your position.

  8. More rhetoric, less action. Keep kicking the can down the road. By the way 40 minus 13 = 27 years of tory dogma. You can try and bluff with words that are easy and use terminology more suited to the Bullingdon Club. It’s clear why we are even having this discussion, we have become what Thatcher wanted, never mind your neighbour, look after number 1. Boris is the devil incarnate, otherwise known as evil Thatcher. True blue… no good for you.

  9. Doh, 1979-2019 = 40 years. Labour in power for 13. Do the maths. Read the article R, 95% increase in 5 years. Your point is?

Comments are closed.