Temporary accommodation types

Temporary accommodation types in London (2002-2020 (Q2))

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 (Q2), over 60,000 London households are in temporary accommodation. 

The most prevalent form of temporary accommodation was in the private rented sector between 2002 and 2017. However, nightly accommodations have become more common amongst those households temporarily accommodated since 2012. Whereas accommodations in hostels have been more common since 2018.

Additionally, in the last few years, Local Authority or Housing Association stock make up the largest proportion of temporary accommodation. In 2020 (Q2), this group of those in temporary accommodation (at 21,900 households) is just a little larger than those who are accommodated in hostels (at 21,110 households).

These values represent an average of 4 quarters for each full year (2002-2019), whereas for 2020 the values refer to Q2 only. Direct comparisons between the quarterly and yearly figures should be avoided since the impact of seasonality will result in biased estimates.