Approximately 500 households (of which 370 are families) that Camden has a statutory duty to house currently live in temporary accommodation (TA). The TA includes hostels within Camden, both leased and council owned, as well as nightly rented (annexe) homes outside Camden. While most households in TA are relatively recent arrivals, some have been living in such accommodation for ten years or more.
Like other London boroughs, Camden is increasingly offering households settled accommodation in other London boroughs. These offers are usually for private rented housing rather than social homes. Drivers include the high cost of private rented accommodation in Camden, low turnover and supply in existing social housing stock and the impact of welfare reform.
Camden officers have observed that many family households in TA turn down offers of housing in the PRS, some repeatedly. The borough commissioned LSE London to explore the reasons behind this. The aim of the research project was to explore how families understand their prospects of moving from temporary accommodation, the barriers that might be preventing them from moving, the fears and concerns they have around moves away from Camden, and what might encourage them to see living in the PRS as a viable housing solution.
The research findings will inform future approaches to managing homelessness demand, how services can help homeless people to find more stable accommodation and also how Camden can improve support given to those in temporary accommodation. The research findings will also feed into the borough’s homelessness strategy and action plan.