Homelessness and temporary accommodation

We’re investigating who is affected by homelessness and how temporary accommodation is delivered and managed in London. We want to identify changes in policy and practice that can offer a better deal for London’s most vulnerable households.

London has an acute homelessness problem, with 10 times more London households in temporary accommodation than in the rest of England. Thousands of London households are also reliant on insecure and expensive private rented accommodation, while London borough budgets are under increasing stress. The pandemic has exacerbated the problem and made it more complex, with more Londoners facing homelessness as a result of financial troubles.

While the long-term solution to the temporary accommodation crisis is to provide more social and affordable private rented accommodation where need is highest, the demand for and cost of temporary accommodation continues to rise.

This project looks at the profile of London’s homeless households, how it is changing, and how better partnership working, and new delivery and investment approaches could help boroughs innovate to raise quality and reduce costs. This project will investigate:

  • Evidence on how Londoners become homeless, who is affected, and what types of accommodation are provided
  • How the accommodation provided has been affected by the 2017 Homelessness Reduction Act and the new duties of homelessness prevention that this created
  • How the impacts of the pandemic have changed the demands placed on local authorities
  • What local authorities and partner agencies are doing – individually or collaboratively – to provide better and more efficient services
  • Whether inter-borough initiatives are delivering as envisioned, and what gaps might need to be filled; and
  • What scope there might be for new approaches and partnership models, such as enhanced partnership working, meanwhile use, changes in planning policy, impact investment or larger-scale local authority property purchases.

Our research methods include a review of government statistics on available and new temporary accommodation, and interviews with people who work with homeless Londoners, local authority officers, mayoral and government policymakers and other current or potential housing providers.

We aim to publish a final report in early autumn 2022.

If you would like to get in touch about this project, please contact Nicolas Bosetti.

Supporting Sponsors

This project has been generously supported by