Local councils facing temporary accommodation crisis

Just under a quarter of councils in England spent £1 in every £20 of their budgets on temporary accommodation alone in 2022-23, new Generation Rent research reveals.

Of the 249 local councils analysed in the research, 8% spent at least £1 in every £10 of their Core Spending Power (CSP) in 2022/3 on households and families in temporary accommodation as they remained trapped in the homelessness system, waiting for long-term homes.

Most of the councils paying the most of their budgets on temporary accommodation are close to London.

The councils found spending the most on temporary accommodation, relative to their budgets, were:

  • Hastings – 49.3% CSP
  • Crawley – 30.1% CSP
  • Arun – 26.0% CSP
  • Swale – 22.4% CSP
  • Rother – 19.8% CSP

These findings come as the government shelved the Renters (Reform) Bill in the wake of the July general election, which had spent the last year making its way through Parliament. The Bill had promised to bring vital security and protections from eviction for renters.

According to the Local Government Association, the number of households living in temporary accommodation has risen by 89% over the past decade, costing councils at least £1.74 billion in 2022/23 in total spending.

Sad evicted mother (age 30-35) with child (age 2-3) worried relocating house. Moving house concept. Real people. copy space

Why is this happening?

The shocking strain that the cost of temporary accommodation now has on local councils is totally preventable. Where once people were able to find safe and affordable homes, we are now living in total insecurity, within a cruel and broken system.

Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions remain a leading cause of homelessness in our country. Now, more than ever, private renters need a new law to end these unfair evictions and grant us the proper protections we need to keep us safe from homelessness.

After many delays and watering-down of the Bill, the government scrapped the Renters (Reform) Bill after calling the election. The Bill was already not in a fit state to offer renters the vital protections that they need, yet further delays mean that renters will continue to be driven into temporary accommodation.

It is now a matter of urgency that the next government introduce these long-overdue reforms to make renting work for the millions of private renters and the local communities being saddled with spiralling temporary accommodation costs. As well as this, the next government must commit to building more affordable housing and more social housing so that people are able to access safe, secure and affordable homes.

The full research can be found here.

Figures were taken from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Local authority’s 2022/3 revenue expenditure and financing net temporary accommodation spending per council and the 2022/3 local government finance settlement, otherwise known as Core Purchasing Power.

Have you faced homelessness or lived in temporary accommodation? Tell us your story here.


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