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Number of people in temporary lodgings increases in the capital

Words: Laura Edgar
Temporary accommodation / Shutterstock_92569951

The number of London households living in temporary accommodation has increased by 50 per cent in the past five years.

This is according to the report Living in Limbo: London’s Temporary Accommodation Crisis by the London Assembly Housing Committee.

The committee said it investigated why the demand for temporary accommodation has happened, the impacts and the solutions.

In the final quarter of 2018, there were 56,560 households in the capital in temporary accommodation, including 88,500 children, states the report. The committee found that families are being placed indefinitely in insecure homes that are often of poor quality.

London councils are struggling to meet the demand of those who need temporary accommodation, adds the study.

While there are projects bringing together councils to provide affordable and decent quality temporary accommodation, such as PLACE and Capital Letters, which are supported by the mayor, he could do more.

The committee recommends that a focused, temporary accommodation project should be set up in City Hall to seek out and support the development of solutions to the issue.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Work & Pensions should work more closely together to ensure that policies to reduce homelessness and improve housing security are not undermined by the implementation of welfare sanctions, it suggests.

Sian Berry, former chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee, said: “A decent home is a human right and there is nothing like being able to lay your head in a space you call home each night without fear for your safety, an impending eviction or yet another move to temporary accommodation.

“The mayor must do all he can to support pan-London solutions to the crisis in temporary accommodation by working with London councils. He can help them find more secure ways to provide assistance to people facing homelessness who come from all walks of life.

“Government departments also need to work more closely to ensure the aims of the Homelessness Reduction Act are realised on the ground, with welfare changes joined up better with housing services.

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