More than 3,000 children in Croydon will be living in temporary accommodation over the festive period, according to new research.

Analysis conducted by homelessness charity Shelter estimates that one in every 30 children in the borough will he housed in BnB's, hostels or emergency accommodation over Christmas.

Over the last five years there has been a 49% increase in the number of homeless children across London. Shelter estimate over 87,000 are without a permanent home.

Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “No child should be homeless. But for the generation growing up in the housing crisis, this is the grim reality for many.

“The increasing number of children hidden away in hostels and BnBs is enough to make anyone’s heart sink.

“These are not places for children.

“We hear about cold, damp – even rats. Young children are sharing beds with multiple family members, trying to play in dirty public corridors, and having to leave their block in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

“Over the last five years, hundreds of thousands of children have known what it’s like to be homeless. The impact these young people cannot be overstated. It doesn’t have to be this way. If we act now, we can change tomorrow to make sure every child has somewhere they can call home.”

In London, there are an average of 28 homeless children for every school.

Shelter has found that teachers who worked with homeless students reported that they saw the situation causing severe emotional trauma leading to emotional stress, anxiety and problematic behaviours.

Teachers have reported homeless students facing a range of practical challenges from keeping track of possessions and uniform, to staying clean due to limited access to bathroom or laundry facilities.

Alison Butler, Croydon's deputy council leader and cabinet member for homes and gateway services, laid blame for the problem at the door of government.

"Simply put, there is a housing crisis in Croydon just as there is in the rest of London. There is a lack of supply and affordability," she said.

"The private rented sector was previously relied on, but the national freeze in housing benefit means people can no longer keep up with rising rent.

"This has lead to an increase in families approaching the council. May announced an end to austerity but the benefit freeze is having a huge impact.

"The council is doing various things - the council owned Brick by Brick developer is building properties and we have purchased 250 street properties already."

The charity is calling on the public to support its urgent Christmas appeal - to give families the vital helpline advice and services they need in order to keep their homes over the festive period.

Tonight (5 December) hundreds of Londoners will embark on a 10km night-time fundraising walk across the city for Sleep Walk for Shelter.

To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit or text SHELTER to 70020 to donate £3.