Free advice and training for social housing tenants

Access information on a range of issues including repairs and maintenance for your home and communal areas, anti-social behaviour and how to tackle your landlord with free training on your rights.

Find out more on the Four Million Homes website.

Temporary accommodation: advice and support

Please remember that being placed in temporary accommodation does not mean you will be accepted for social housing.

What is temporary accommodation? 

Temporary accommodation may be given to people who genuinely have nowhere to live. 

You can be placed in temporary accomodation if you are:

  • homeless
  • eligible for assistance
  • in priority need

A household may have a priority need for different reasons.

For example, there may be dependent children in the household. 

What kind of temporary accommodation could you expect? 

It may be in bed and breakfast accommodation which is very basic. This often is one room for you and your family. Bathrooms and/or kitchens sometimes shared with other residents.   

It is not permanent, and you could be moved around to alternative places at any time. 

Temporary accommodation is in very short supply. It may be that the only suitable options are outside of Tower Hamlets or London. 

To help ensure that it is safe and secure, there are often limits on visitors. Residency checks are also in place.   

Do you have to pay rent for temporary accommodation? 

Yes, if you do not pay your rent we can evict you from temporary accommodation. 

You can find advice about how to pay your temporary accomodation rent.

Your rent amount will depend on the size of your family and how many rooms you need.

If you are on a low income you may be able to get help if you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit

How long will you stay in temporary accommodation? 

We can’t say how long you may have to stay in temporary accommodation. It could be for many years as it doesn't mean you will be placed in social housing. 

You will need to stay while the council decides if there is a duty to house you.

If there isn't, you will need to find an alternative place to stay.

What happens if the council has a duty to house you? 

We will start to look to look for suitable accommodation. This is likely to be in the private rented sector as there is a severe shortage of social housing. 

What if you don’t want to stay in temporary accommodation?  

If you don't want the upheaval of moving home several times, or a long waiting period, you can look to rent privately

You could also think about moving in the UK where there is more social housing available than in London and the south east. 

You can search for properties across the country on HomefinderUK.