London’s homelessness crisis has reached an alarming peak, with recent statistics revealing an exceptional number of households living in temporary accommodation since 2005. Amid this pressing situation, the London Housing Panel, in collaboration with London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley, and the London Housing Directors Group, has taken a stand to address the plight of thousands of homeless households trapped in temporary housing.

Kineara, as the Chair of the Working Group on Temporary Accommodation under the London Housing Panel, has played a central role in drafting and coordinating the delivery of the open letter to the government, demanding immediate action.

The Crisis at Hand

The open letter, addressed to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, expresses collective alarm over the escalating homelessness crisis in London. While homelessness is a nationwide issue, it has hit the capital particularly hard, with nearly 60% of all households in temporary accommodation located in London. The situation is compounded by an unprecedented crisis in the procurement, supply and low standard of temporary accommodation, making it more critical than ever to find sustainable solutions.

Call for Government Action

One of the Working Group’s primary objectives is to advocate for improved housing conditions and support vulnerable individuals and families stuck in temporary accommodations that are often not fit for purpose and are far from temporary.

In the letter, the collective demands urgent government intervention to address the key challenges faced by those in temporary housing. One critical concern is to ensure that stays in temporary accommodation are as short, safe, and healthy as possible, with a strong emphasis on finding permanent homes swiftly. The Working Group calls for an increase in Discretionary Housing Payment funding to support local authorities during this crisis.

Key Proposals for Action

The open letter highlights three essential areas that demand immediate attention:

  1. Preventing Homelessness: The letter urges long-term investment in new and existing social rented homes as the most effective way to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation and address housing inequalities. Raising Long-term Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels is essential to prevent further homelessness and facilitate local authorities in sourcing suitable temporary accommodation.
  2. Raising Standards: The inconsistency and poor standards in temporary accommodation pose significant challenges. The Working Group calls for new, enforceable national standards consistent with decent homes standards, applicable to all properties used for temporary accommodation, irrespective of ownership or immigration status.
  3. Children in Temporary Accommodation: Kineara and the Working Group is dedicated to placing all children housed in temporary accommodation under the Children Act or homelessness legislation, ensuring that they have access to proper kitchen facilities. Additionally, the proposal includes the development of manuals in every borough to aid families settling in and accessing essential support services.


    The collaboration between the London Housing Panel, London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, and the London Housing Directors Group, with Kineara’s leadership, has led to a powerful call to action. The open letter demands immediate government attention to alleviate the hardships faced by homeless households in London. It is hoped that the government will respond promptly and work alongside various stakeholders to find comprehensive and sustainable solutions to the city’s growing homelessness crisis.

To read the full open letter, click here