The resources compiled here make up a toolkit that sits alongside Justlife and IPPR North’s final publication, ‘The Journey Home: building a solution to unsupported temporary accommodation’ and their aim is to aid in the implementation of recommendations made in the report. The elements of our final report are included digitally here:
The additional resources below are useful tools for setting up a TAB, addressing the lack of control residents feel in UTA and providing in-tenancy support for residents. These templates can be downloaded and edited for local relevance.
Setting Minimum Standards: Addressing Lack of Control
Our research has shown that many residents of UTA feel out of control in their lives and accommodation. This stems from not knowing what to expect in their accommodation as well as not knowing what their rights are. The license agreements they sign are not extensive and typically include the minimum information needed to satisfy Housing Benefit requirements. Therefore, we recommend a single, consistent license agreement for this type of accommodation that clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and residents, a complaints policy and a checklist to be used at move-in. Each of these templates can be downloaded by clicking on the links below:
The conditions checklist should be used when providing move-in support to a resident on their first day in UTA. This checklist is based on the legal minimum standards found in Section 9 of the Housing Act 2004. Further information and enforcement guidance on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) can be found here.
Providing In-Tenancy Support
Moving into unsupported temporary accommodation often means a sharp drop-off of external support due to it being seen as a housing solution for individuals in and out of homelessness. Our research shows that once residents move into the accommodation, they experience a lack of security, feel they lose control of their lives and their mental and physical health deteriorates. Therefore, residents of UTA often need a range of support in order to continue their pathway through temporary accommodation to a ‘home.’ We have discovered that individuals typically need support around a variety of health issues, benefit issues and debt management. Although these typically require specialist support from agencies such as Citizens Advice or a local advice agency, below are relevant templates for supporting residents to take more control of their stay in unsupported temporary accommodation. Particularly in regards to issues around conditions:
- Example letter of maintenance problem to landlord
- Example letter of maintenance problem to Environmental Health
- Example Mandatory Reconsideration Letter (Reconsideration of a benefit decision)
Much of the situation in which residents of UTA finds themselves is very nuanced, therefore appealing debt decisions and evictions can vary depending on individual situations. We have included information below relevant specifically to residents of UTA that can act as a guide when supporting individuals with debt management and eviction appeals.
Again, we also suggest strong links with citizen’s advice or a local advice service in order to ensure tenants have the right advocacy support in order to begin taking back control in their lives.
If you would like any further information or would like to be a part of our growing network addressing the challenges of UTA feel free to either have a look at our offer of support for setting up temporary accommodation boards here or to contact Christa Maciver directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.