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How the cost of living crisis is affecting residents of Temporary Accommodation - five key areas of concern

  • 2 min read |
  • Posted by Signe
  • On 17 November 2022

As Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is laying out his autumn statement, pundits and journalists are busy digesting the news and offering analysis of what it will mean for ordinary citizens. Few, however, consider how the cost of living crisis impacts households living in Temporary Accommodation (TA). We set out five key areas of concern below.

1. Food

Food and drink prices have gone up by 16% in the last 12 months. Food Banks are struggling to keep up with demand, which is no longer limited to the poorest in society. Residents of TA typically spend a greater proportion of their income on essentials such as food.

2. Energy bills

The £400 rebate on energy bills is not always passed on from private landlords to residents of TA. We know from our recent Call for Evidence that much of the TA housing stock already suffers from damp and mould, which badly affects people's health. For those residents who are unable to turn the heating on this winter, this problem is likely to increase.

3. Benefits

92% of people experiencing homelessness rely on benefits (CHI Impact Seminar, 2022). Even with the increase of benefits in line with inflation from April 2023, their real value is on course to be 6% below their pre-pandemic levels. Working age benefits such as universal credit and personal independence payment are 7.5% lower - after adjusting for rising prices - than in 2009.

4. Public services

Residents of TA are more likely to rely on public services, from the NHS and mental health services to domestic violence and substance misuse support. Cuts to public services will disproportionately affect residents of TA.

5. Local Authorities

Local Authorities, whose duty it is to care for the homeless population in TA, are stretched to near breaking point. Without adequate resources, it will become increasingly difficult to find suitable TA for those in need, and to move people out of TA, leaving households stuck for unacceptably long periods of time. Only 20% of private landlords are willing to rent to people who are moving out of homelessness.