Living in Limbo: London's Temporary Accommodation crisis

Date published: 
13 May 2019

The Housing Committee has published the report 'Living in Limbo: London's temporary accommodation crisis'.

It investigates the rise in demand for temporary accommodation, the reasons why, the impacts and the solutions Londoners need.

Key Facts

  • The number of households living in temporary accommodation has risen by 50 per cent in the last five years to 56,560 households, including 88,500 children by the end of 2018, mostly in the private rented sector.
  • The housing crisis, welfare reform and other issues make it difficult for councils to find adequate affordable temporary accommodation in London for those in need.
  • Rent arrears and temporary accommodation costs are rising as a result.
  • People are living in insecure housing, sometimes overcrowded and often of poor quality with little recourse to complain, and they can wait indefinitely for permanent housing.

Case study: Sarah's story

Key Findings & Recommendations

  • There is room to improve the quality of advice and support for people on benefits, at risk of homelessness and in temporary accommodation in order to realise the aims of the Homelessness Reduction Act.
  • Innovative temporary accommodation projects like Capital Letters and PLACE are helping to ease the crisis - the Mayor needs to provide more funding than the £11 million set aside to set up more.
  • Cross-governmental working is welcomed between the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions. Work must be done to insure that policies to reduce homelessness and improve housing security are not undermined by the implementation of welfare reforms.
  • The Mayor’s temporary accommodation workstream should investigate the best methods for involving people with experience of temporary accommodation in their design and management processes in order to ensure that their voices are heard.

The Report

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