Today we release our latest report, Hidden Homelessness Exposed: The impact of COVID-19 on single homeless households in temporary accommodation. This report richly evidences the harsh reality for many living in temporary accommodation, revealing trauma, disability, poor mental health, lack of cleanliness and hygiene, as well as isolation that long predated COVID-19.
Based on 19 qualitative interviews with homeless individuals from Brighton and Manchester between May and June 2020, this report sheds fresh light on the impact of the pandemic and first national lockdown on single homeless households in temporary accommodation.
Although COVID-19 did impact people living in temporary accommodation, they were mainly concerned with the interruptions to daily life that the virus caused, including health care appointments being cancelled or postponed and interruptions to social lives. Beyond this, many felt their lives hadn’t changed much at all:
“There's not a lot of guidelines for me to follow. I don't go out of my house. I wash every day, I bathe every day like a normal person. I self-isolate without this Covid thing going on anyway. Don't make no difference to me.
Some explained they saw COVID-19 as a leveller, creating a situation where the nation could experience the isolation those living in temporary accommodation face all the time. 8 of the 19 participants said that COVID made no difference to them at all. Many felt they just didn’t matter, one calling themselves and other hidden homeless individuals the ‘undesirables of the world.'
This report shows how COVID-19 affected people living in temporary accommodation, and how this kind of accommodation continues to negatively impact those who are hidden homeless, regardless of the pandemic.