More than 100 children in Torridge were living in temporary accommodation at the end of last year, new figures show.

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 104 children living in temporary accommodation in Torridge as of the end of 2023.

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

Figures were not available for the area for the year before.

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, 60 households were living in temporary accommodation in Torridge, 38 of them with dependent children.

Of those with children, 16 were living in private accommodation, while 12 were in hostels.

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."

He argued the bill in its current form needs significant changes, saying it “needs major surgery in the Lords” to tackle the problem.

In total, 112,660 households were dealing with short-term living arrangements at the end of 2023, up from 12% at the same point in 2022.

This included 15,950 housed in bed and breakfasts, and 6,250 in hostels.

A DLUHC spokesperson said councils are being supported with £1.2 billion to give help to those who need it, and local housing allowance has been boosted to help towards rental costs.

They added: "Temporary accommodation is a vital safety net to make sure families are not left without a roof over their heads, but councils must make sure it is suitable for families who have a right to appeal if it’s not."