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5          Temporary accommodation
5.1        Introduction and summary
The DWP has been developing proposals for the reform of HB subsidy for those
in temporary accommodation and wished to ask a series of questions that were
designed to support the Department’s understanding of temporary accommodation
usage.
This section includes the findings for several questions which asked LAs to provide
statistics about people in temporary accommodation. It is important to bear in
mind that, although LAs were asked to pass this section of the questionnaire to
their Homelessness Team, there was still a relatively high proportion of LAs that
were unable to provide answers and therefore these findings should be treated
with caution.
When asked about the frequency with which people in temporary accommodation
moved from one property to another before finding permanent housing, 46 per
cent of LAs were unable to give an answer. However, among the 112 LAs able
to provide answers to this question nearly two in three (64 per cent) said that
81-100 per cent of households in temporary accommodation did not move
following their initial placement (ie. before finding permanent accommodation).
A further 12 per cent said that 61-80 per cent did not move following their initial
placement and 15 per cent said that 60 per cent or fewer did not move.
Again, looking only at those LAs able to provide answers to this question, 43 per
cent of LAs said that they had households in temporary accommodation that
moved every six months, 34 per cent had households that moved once a year,
19 per cent had households that moved once every two years and 13 per cent had
households that moved every two years or less often.
Around a fifth of LAs (22 per cent) did not know what proportion of people in
temporary accommodation lived out of the borough. More than a third of LAs
(37 per cent) said no one in temporary accommodation lived out of the borough,
while a quarter (26 per cent) said they had between one and ten per cent that
lived out-of-borough, ten per cent said between 11 and 40 per cent and just
36   Temporary accommodation




         five per cent of LAs said that they had more than 40 per cent that lived out of
         borough.
         Looking at the size of properties in relation to the size of households in temporary
         accommodation, seven in ten LAs (70 per cent) did not have anyone that lived in
         properties that were too large and 59 per cent did not have anyone that lived in
         properties that were too small. On the other hand, just under a quarter of LAs
         (23 per cent) said that they had between one and ten per cent of their temporary
         accommodation households that lived in properties that were too big. Conversely,
         22 per cent of LAs said that they had between one and ten per cent of their
         temporary accommodation households that lived in properties that were too
         small.
         Nearly half of LAs (45 per cent) did not know about the employment status of
         households in temporary accommodation. Just two per cent said that none of their
         temporary accommodation households contained someone in employment, while
         22 per cent of LAs said that between one and ten per cent contained someone
         in employment, 15 per cent said between 11 and 20 per cent, 11 per cent said
         between 21 and 40 per cent and five per cent said more than 40 per cent.
         When asked about the percentage of households in temporary accommodation
         that were placed into settled accommodation in the private rented sector, a third
         of LAs (34 per cent) did not know. Seventeen per cent said that none were placed
         into settled accommodation in the private rented sector, while a third of LAs
         (33 per cent) said between one and ten per cent were, ten per cent of LAs said
         between 11 and 40 per cent and six per cent of LAs said more than 40 per cent.
         LAs were also asked to provide a breakdown of temporary accommodation by
         stock size. Just two per cent of LAs provided six-bed properties, six per cent
         provided five-bed properties, 19 per cent provided four-bed properties and 26 per
         cent provided studios. It was more usual for LAs to provide one-, two- and three-
         bed properties – 45 per cent provided one-bed, 49 per cent provided two-beds
         and 46 per cent provided three-beds.


         5.2        Main findings
         The following details the main findings and includes figures for all questions plus
         commentary highlighting the key subgroup differences.
                                                                     Temporary accommodation     37




Table 5.1         Excluding bed and breakfast accommodation and
                  hostels, on average, what percentage of people in
                  temporary accommodation move from one property
                  to another before finding permanent housing within
                  each of the following time periods? Summary

                               Percentage of LAs that            Percentage of LAs that do not
                              have people in temporary             have people in temporary
                             accommodation who move               accommodation who move
                             following initial placement          following initial placement
                                         %                                    %
Every six months                           43                                  57
Once a year                                34                                  66
Every two years                            19                                  81
Every two years or more                    13                                  87
Base: All LAs that were able to provide an answer (112).


Table 5.2         Percentage of people in temporary accommodation
                  who move from one property to another before finding
                  permanent housing within each of the following time
                  periods

                            Do not
                            move
                          following                                                 Every two
                            initial      Every six         Once a     Every two      years or
                          placement       months            year        years         more
                              %             %                %            %             %
None move during
this period                   9             57              66            81           87
1-10%                         7             21              21            11           7
11-20%                        4              4               8             4           4
21-40%                        *              7               2             2            -
41-60%                        4              4               2             -           *
61-80%                        12             5               *             2            -
81-100%                       64             2               -             *           *
Base: All LAs that were able to provide an answer (112).

Almost half of LAs said they did not know what percentage of people in temporary
accommodation moved from one property to another before finding permanent
housing and this was even higher among English metropolitan districts (70 per
cent). Tables 5.1 and 5.2 show the findings just for those LAs that were able to
give an answer.
More than two in five LAs said that they had households in temporary
accommodation that moved every six months, a third had households that moved
once a year, one in five had households that moved once every two years and
38   Temporary accommodation




         one in eight had households that moved every two years or less often. There
         were, however, a few differences in these findings by subgroup, with London
         boroughs most likely to have said that people in temporary accommodation
         moved following initial placement: 73 per cent said that they had households
         in temporary accommodation that moved every six months, 64 per cent had
         households that moved once a year, once every two years or every two years or less
         often. Conversely, low caseload LAs were the least likely to have said that people
         in temporary accommodation moved following initial placement: for example,
         just 29 per cent said that they had households in temporary accommodation that
         moved every six months compared with 57 per cent of high caseload LAs.

         Figure 5.1 What percentage of households living in temporary
                    accommodation live out-of-borough?




         More than a fifth of LAs overall (22 per cent) said that they did not know what
         percentage of households in temporary accommodation lived out-of-borough and
         this rose to 40 per cent of Welsh authorities and 35 per cent of English metropolitan
         districts. Generally, the findings for this question were similar across all subgroups,
         however, it is interesting that just 11 per cent of London boroughs said that ‘none’
         of their households in temporary accommodation lived out-of-borough, while
         39 per cent said between one and ten per cent, a further 39 per cent said between
         21 and 40 per cent and six per cent said between 41 and 60 per cent.
                                                                Temporary accommodation      39




Table 5.3        What proportion of households in self-contained
                 temporary accommodation live in properties that could
                 be considered too small, about right or too large for the
                 size of the household?

                   Too small for the size    About right for the    Too large for the size
                     of the household       size of the household     of the household
                             %                        %                       %
None                        59                       38                      70
1-10%                       22                       *                       23
11-20%                       7                       1                        4
21-40%                       7                       1                        2
41-60%                       2                       8                        -
61-80%                       2                       13                       -
81-100%                      *                       38                       -
Base: All LAs (206).

As Figure 5.1 shows, there was a minority of temporary accommodation
households that lived in accommodation that was either too small or too big for
them. This was the case across all subgroups, however, there is one difference
worth pointing out: High caseload LAs were significantly more likely than low
caseload LAs to have said that they had properties that were too large for the size
of household: 39 per cent of high caseload LAs said that they had properties that
were too large compared with just 23 per cent of low caseload LAs.
40   Temporary accommodation




         Figure 5.2 What percentage of households in temporary
                    accommodation contain someone in employment?




         Nearly half of LAs were unable to provide information on the employment status
         of households in temporary accommodation. However, among those that could
         give an answer, most said that between one and 20 per cent were in employment,
         with an overall indicative average percentage of 19 per cent. Looking at indicative
         average percentages by region, London boroughs and LAs in the South West were
         the most likely to have had households in temporary accommodation that were in
         employment; an average of 30 per cent of temporary accommodation households
         in the South West and 23 per cent in London were in employment, which is higher
         than in most other areas.
                                                          Temporary accommodation   41




Figure 5.3 What percentage of temporary accommodation
           households do you place into settled accommodation in
           the private-rented sector (direct lets)?




Around a third of LAs were unable to answer this question, however, among those
that did, most said that fewer than ten per cent of temporary accommodation
households were placed into settled accommodation in the private rented sector.
These findings were consistent across all subgroups.

Table 5.4        Please provide a breakdown of your temporary
                 accommodation stock (leased and licensed only) by
                 property size in the table below

                            One-   Two-   Three-    Four-      Five-    Six-
Number of        Studies    bed    beds    beds     beds       beds     beds
properties         %         %      %       %        %          %        %
None                   74    55     51      54        81        94       98
1-20                   22    30     28      34        16        5        1
21-40                  2     6      10       6        1          -       -
41-60                  -     3      3        -        -          -       -
61-80                  -     1      -        1        1          -       -
81-100                 -     -      1        1        -          -       -
101+                   -     3      5        3        1          -       -
Base: All LAs (206).
42   Temporary accommodation




         When LAs were asked for a breakdown of their temporary accommodation by
         property size, the findings showed that it was most usual for LAs to have provided
         one-, two- and three-bed properties. There were few differences by subgroup,
         however, London boroughs and high caseload LAs (which also included London
         boroughs) were most likely to have had one-, two- and thre- bed temporary
         accommodation, while Scottish authorities were also particularly likely to have
         had one- and two-bed properties.