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Unfortunately, Justlife does not currently provide support services outside Brighton & Hove or Greater Manchester, but we do have national projects that aim to improve the experiences of people living in temporary accommodation across the country, and operate Temporary Accommodation Action Groups (TAAGs) in a number of locations. If you are a person with lived experience and are interested in getting involved in our national campaigning work, please get in touch.

Practical advice for people living in temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation (also called emergency accommodation) is a broad term that describes temporary housing for people who are homeless. It is usually allocated via the local authority while they assess if they have a duty to house someone or whilst they are finding more suitable long-term accommodation. More information on different types of temporary housing here.

What is provided in temporary accommodation?

The accommodation may just look like a normal house or a flat, or it may be in a purpose built block, a hostel, B&B or even a hotel. The accommodation will be basic with limited cooking facilities or food provided. There may be a bathroom and toilet facilities, which may have to be shared with other residents.

What are your housing rights?

People placed by a local council will likely have signed a licence agreement. This is not a tenancy and people don’t have the same rights as a tenant. It is important to understand the rules of the accommodation. You should check with your accommodation provider to see whether or not you can have visitors, how to report issues and what bills you need to pay. You may need to cover bills including council tax or a service charge yourself. Breaking these rules could result in the cancellation of your accommodation.

What if my temporary accommodation is unsuitable?

If you feel that your accommodation is unsuitable you should talk to your local authority that has provided the accommodation. Try to speak to your housing officer if you have one and explain why it should be reviewed. This could be because it's unaffordable, overcrowded, in poor condition, too far from your workplace or school, or inaccessible because of a health condition or disability. Do not abandon your accommodation as you may not be rehoused.

How long will I stay in temporary accommodation?

Temporary accommodation placements vary in length depending on your circumstances and the availability of other accommodation in your area. Placements can be anywhere between several weeks to several years. The council could move you to alternative accommodation temporary during that time. It is important you keep your local council informed about any changes to your living situation such as moving away or changes to your household.

Your new address

Although this is called ‘temporary’ accommodation, this will be your new address so don't forget to let key people know of your new postal address. This means letting the DWP know if you are receiving benefits, as well as your doctor or hospital - this is especially important if you are expecting any medical appointments or information. You can use this address to register at a new GP if you have moved into a new area. Bear in mind that changing to a new area may affect your place in medical waiting lists.

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