Last year saw a fall in the number of children living in temporary accommodation in the Forest of Dean, according to new figures.

New figures from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show a record number of homeless children living in short-term accommodation across England.

A housing charity cautioned a generation of young people have had their lives "blighted by homelessness", with campaigners calling for long-promised rental reforms to be strengthened.

The data shows there were eight children living in temporary accommodation in the Forest of Dean as of the end of 2023.

These include short-term private rental properties, as well as hostels and bed and breakfasts.

This was a fall on the same point a year earlier when there were 25 children in temporary accommodation.

However, across England there were 145,800 children in temporary accommodation at the end of 2023, up by a fifth on when records began 20 years ago, and a 15% rise from the year before, when there were 126,340.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "The Government cannot stand idly by while a generation of children have their lives blighted by homelessness."

She said: "Decades of failure to build enough genuinely affordable social homes has left families struggling to cobble together extortionate sums every month to keep a roof over their heads."

Political parties must commit to "ending the housing emergency", she added, urging them all to pledge to build 90,000 social homes a year for 10 years, as well as to overhaul the Renters (Reform) Bill.

In total, 14 households were living in temporary accommodation in the Forest of Dean, two of them with dependent children.

This was the similar to the year before when 34 households were living in temporary accommodation.

Tom Darling, campaign manager at the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: "Observing this steadily spiralling crisis, it is maddening to watch the Government’s approach to the Renters (Reform) Bill, one of the key levers at its disposal to tackle this crisis.

"Neglected, dropped, picked back up again, delayed, deprioritised, and – finally – gutted of key provisions by a group of pro-landlord MPs."