New report finds one in 15 North East children are anxious and unsettled due to lack of home stability

A new report has found that one in 15 children living in the North East feel anxious and unsettled because they do not live in a stable home.

The research, by Shelter, discovered that renting properties could have an affect on the youngest members in a family. A lot of these properties are rented on a short-term basis meaning usually only for around six months.

In some circumstances a landlord can ask a family to move out with as little as two months’ notice, often without a reason.

Harold Wilson, 24, a father of two children aged five and six, has rented six houses in and around Gateshead for the last five years, and says the treatment he has received has been shocking: “My little girl who is only in year one at school has asked me, more than once, if we will have to move again soon.

“There isn’t anything like it. I have been made to feel so patronised and beneath them just because I rent. I think they forget I have two children to look after as well.”

Mr Wilson, who works as a van driver in the North East, added: “The state of some of the houses we have had to live in has been unbelievable. My youngest daughter suffers from asthma and the conditions we had in some of the houses haven’t helped her at all.”

According to the report, 39 per cent of parent’s worry they may have to move their children from their current school if they have to move house.

Graeme Brown, Interim Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “The curse of inadequate tenancies, and indeed our broken housing system, are fuelled by the shocking lack of affordable homes available to rent or buy in our country. What we need now is quick and bold action that helps people in need of a decent home tomorrow not in ten years.”

Shelter is calling on the Government to introduce a new five-year agreement to help families feel more stable and know their children can be settled for longer periods.

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