Thousands of children are growing up with health and educational problems because they are homeless or have inadequate housing, a report has found. The study by Shelter, the National Campaign for the Homeless, found the number of families who were without a home in England rose by 30 per cent last year. At least 70,000 families faced homelessness last year and many children were forced to live in conditions that caused serious problems for their health and social development. 'It is unacceptable that in the last decade of this millennium over half a million children have already suffered homelessness,' Shelter's director Chris Holmes said. 'This damaging legacy will consign many more children to grow up forgotten, socially excluded victims of our housing problems.' Shelter's survey could not find any single reason for the increase in the number of homeless families but pointed to the growing number of broken families where one parent was left with responsibility for the children but no home. Under law local authorities are responsible for finding housing for people left homeless through no fault of their own, but Shelter says much of the accommodation provided is inadequate.