London households in temporary accommodation

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

Proportion of households in temporary accomodation in London boroughs (2018/2019)

Local authorities, including London boroughs, have legal duties to provide accomodation to people who are homeless. Whilst they are waiting for a permanent solution - such as a home provided by a housing association - local authorities must house them in temporary accommodation such as nightly accommodation, the private rented sector or bed and breakfasts. 

For every 1,000 households in London, 16 are living in temporary accommodation. This compares to just 1.4 households for every 1,000 in the rest of England.

Every borough in London has a higher proportion of households living in temporary accommodation than the average in the rest of England. 

Newham has the highest rate of households in temporary accommodation (44.5 per 1,000 households). Other boroughs with high rates include Kensington and Chelsea (30.5 per 1,000 households) and Haringey (26.7 per 1,000 households. In contrast, Merton (1.8 per 1,000 households) and Richmond upon Thames (3.0 per 1,000 households) have some of the lowest rates.

Overall, this means that more than 56,000 households in London were in temporary accommodation in 2019, an increase of 30% compared with five years ago. The most prevalent form of temporary accommodation was in the private rented sector.

Sometimes, local authorities will provide temporary accommodation outside of their area. This is particularly common in London, where local authorities face the twin challenges of greater demand for homelessness services and more expensive accomodation in which to house people. Bromley accommodates over two thirds of its households in temporary accommodation outside of the borough, the highest for any local authority in London. The figures provided here refer to 'households'. This refers to groups of people who live together (such as families, couples and other multi-adult households) and single adults.