Shelter has slammed the government as the number of homeless households hits 100,000.
The number of homeless households trapped in temporary accommodation has hit a record high of 100,810, says government figures, an increase of 123% since the government took office in 1997.
The figures follow major government reviews which have identified homelessness as a key driver of child poverty and social exclusion.
The number of families in temporary accommodation is one of only three of the governments main poverty indicators which is failing to improve.
Shelter research, released as part of its Million Children Campaign, documents the devastating impact temporary accommodation can have on homeless children and their families.
Shelter is calling on the government to make a strong commitment to a coherent, effective strategy for tackling the problem, which should be published as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Ministers forthcoming Five Year Plan.
Adam Sampson, director of shelter, says: “This is an appalling watershed for homeless families trapped in temporary accommodation. It is a scandal that 100,00 households, many of them families with children, are now facing Christmas in temporary accommodation, with devastating effects on their health, education and future prospects.
“The governments own reports show that if it is serious about tackling child poverty and social exclusion, it must do more to get homeless households out of temporary accommodation.
“Ministers must set out a new strategy to deal with the problem in the ODPMs forthcoming Five Year Plan. A failure to act now will come at enormous human cost and condemn a record number of children to life trapped in a miserable cycle of temporary accommodation.”