Temporary accommodation types

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 6 November 2020

Temporary accommodation types in London (2002-2020)

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. 

Over the last 20 years, the number of households in temporary accommodation at a given point has drastically changed. After the peak of 2006, the number of households in temporary accommodation has drastically decreased up to 2011, where almost 36,000 households were in temporary accommodation. However, since 2012 this number has increased and we’re now at levels close to what we’ve seen in 2006. In 2020, over 60,000 London households are in temporary accommodation. 

The most prevalent form of temporary accommodation was in the private rented sector over the last 18 years. However, nightly accommodations have become more common amongst those households temporarily accommodated since 2012. In 2020, this group of those in temporary accommodation (at 20,000 households) has almost caught up with the temporarily accommodated households in the private rented sectors (at 21,760 households).