London needs a “focussed” temporary accommodation project that could, in turn, press MHCLG and DWP to work more closely on ensuring policies to reduce homelessness and improve housing security are not further undermined by welfare reform, a new report recommends.
That report is published today (May 13) by the London Assembly Housing Committee with figures for the final quarter of 2018 showing 56,560 households were in temporary accommodation across the capital – which includes 88,500 children.
Overall, the number of London households in temporary accommodation has risen by 50% in the past five years.
Former committee chair Sian Berry AM said that faced with such numbers – let alone their potential to rise – the Mayor and City Hall now had to prioritise pan-London solutions to the crisis by working with London councils.
“Government departments also need to work more closely to ensure the aims of the Homelessness Reduction Act are realised on the ground, with welfare changes joined up better with housing services,” she said.
‘Living in Limbo: London’s temporary accommodation crisis’ investigates the rise in demand for temporary accommodation, the reasons why, the impacts and the solutions Londoners need.
With the capital’s councils acknowledged as struggling to meet temporary accommodation demand, Pan-London projects are developing to bring boroughs – PLACE and Capital Letters being two high-profile examples.
As to what more could be done, the report recommends:
- A focused temporary accommodation project should be set up in City Hall to seek out and support the development of solutions to the issue
- Government providing adequate funding for the changes in advice, assistance and support the introduction of Universal Credit was to bring through the Job Centre Plus service
- MHCLG and DWP working more closely together to ensure that policies to reduce homelessness and improve housing security are not undermined by the implementation of welfare reform