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A Better Vision for Temporary Accommodation: Feed into our National Strategy

  • 3 min read |
  • Posted by Morgan, Influencing Coordinator
  • On 26 April 2024

Most people will have noticed the crisis of homelessness in the UK, particularly with the ever-growing numbers of people sleeping on the streets. This dire situation is becoming obvious in towns and cities across the country. What is less obvious is the amount of people living in hidden homelessness, often in appalling conditions in temporary accommodation.

At Justlife we focus on advocating for the over 100,000 households currently living in temporary accommodation (TA), whether that be locally through our direct services or nationally through our research and policy work. As part of our national work, we’re today announcing our Better Vision for Temporary Accommodation.

The bleak state of temporary accommodation

Our call to evidence, published last year as part of our work with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Households in Temporary Accommodation (APPGTA), painted a bleak picture of a growing population trapped in substandard TA, sometimes for years. Issues of mould, health & safety risks, overcrowding and much more, were found to be far too common problems faced by people living in TA. In some instances, conditions are so bad there is a risk to life.

Some places were filthy, blood-stained walls. Some kicked us out during the day and locked us in at night

A mother living in TA (APPG call to evidence, 2023)

The problem is a growing one, with the latest government statistics showing there were 112,660 households stuck in TA as of December 2023. This represents a 12.1% increase from the same time last year. Temporary accommodation is becoming less and less ‘temporary’, with families becoming increasingly stuck in unfit housing.

We want to help address this bleak picture, building on our policy work to affect change at the highest level. Importantly, we want to do this alongside those with lived experience of TA. That’s why we’re now beginning the path to a Better Vision for Temporary Accommodation.


Our sector-wide consultation

Today we’re announcing a sector-wide consultation with the various individuals, institutions and organisations who are working in, or have experience of, homelessness. We’re holding conversations with people with lived experience, fellow charities, housing associations, frontline staff, local authorities, and others willing to feed in. We also have 2 surveys: one for those with lived experience, and one for those working in the sector.We invite you to contact us at Justlife and feed into our Vision.

How we will take this vision to people in power

We will host an event for the Households in Temporary Accommodation APPG, which we are co-secretariats for alongside the Shared Health Foundation. This will be our first chance to relay to people in power how this collective vision is developing, and we feel it’s essential it’s codesigned by our various lived experience projects.

All this will feed into a co-created report, with a clear set of recommendations: Our Better Vision for Temporary Accommodation. We plan to take this to the party conferences in September, with the aim of influencing policy in the run up to the next general election, and beyond.

Our plans are ambitious, but we are not alone in recognising the need for comprehensive changes to the housing system generally, and the temporary accommodation system specifically. There is a committed sector of organisations and individuals dedicated to making this change, and we hope to lean on their expertise and passion to create a Better Vision for Temporary Accommodation.

How you can get involved

For those with lived experience of TA – https://forms.gle/4KEfnWahqEfa...

For those working in the sector – https://forms.gle/PKMkv8hwMsNu...

If you are interested in an extended conversation on these topics, please email morgan@justlife.org.uk

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