Temporary accommodation

Cost of living crisis: find out what help is available

We want to ensure that all homeless households spend the shortest possible time in temporary accommodation before moving to settled accommodation.

To address this, we introduced mandatory data collection in April 2016 which helps us:

  • understand the use of temporary accommodation
  • improve the quality of information we hold on length of stay
  • identify if anything more needs to be done
  • shape homelessness policy

Most recent statistics on temporary accommodation.

Requirements for registered social landlords and councils

Guidance on section 5 of the 2001 Act sets out the reasonable time period for registered social landlords to satisfy a council's request to provide temporary accommodation, and what constitutes good reason for not doing so. 

Improving the quality of temporary accommodation for families with children

Where temporary accommodation is required we want to ensure that the accommodation provided is of a consistent, high quality across property types and tenures. 

We consulted in 2019 on improving standards in temporary accommodation which led to a commitment in the Programme for Government that we would legislate this year to extend the Unsuitable Accommodation Order to all homeless households. This would come into force by May 2021. The extension means that the maximum number of days that local authorities can use unsuitable accommodation for any homeless person is seven days.

We have also published advisory temporary accommodation standards for the first time within the refreshed Code of Guidance providing councils with a clear steer on provision across property types and tenures. We will outline our plans for the development of a legally enforceable standards framework.

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