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The Hidden Generational Impact of Uncertain Temporary Accommodation in England



Tragedy Strikes as Number of Households in Temporary Accommodation in England Reaches Highest Levels

As the sun begins to set on another day, thousands of households across England find themselves trapped in a relentless cycle of uncertainty and instability, with temporary accommodation becoming their only refuge. We are currently entrenched in a housing crisis, with the number of households in temporary accommodation reaching its highest level in decades, as reported by The Guardian today. The tragedy of this situation highlights the plight of thousands of families and individuals who are facing uncertain futures and struggling to find a stable place to call home.


The government's statistics on statutory homelessness for January to March 2023, published today on gov.uk, reveal a startling truth. The rising tide of homelessness has resulted in a surge in the demand for temporary accommodation, pushing the number of households in such dire circumstances to an alarming peak.















Amidst this crisis, one of the most profound and heart-breaking consequences lies in the hidden generational impact on children and young people. For these people, studies have shown that constant changes in living arrangements can lead to poor academic performance, mental health issues, and a heightened risk of homelessness in adulthood (for example here). Living in temporary housing deprives children and young people of a sense of security and a stable environment necessary for healthy growth, leaving scars that can persist into adulthood.


Co-creating Impact First Social Housing

In the face of this worsening reality, organisations like ours (and thankfully many others) believe that it is essential to take collective action to tackle the housing crisis. Collaboration between charities, registered providers, and local authorities is imperative to co-create sustainable solutions for those in desperate need of permanent homes. Recognising the impact that private landlords exiting the market can have on housing availability, Cornerstone Place exclusively delivers what we call ‘Impact First Social Housing’ and we advocate for a unique approach which aims to put the assets in the hands of the impact makers whilst ensuring robust and detailed financial analysis underpins any decisions.


Hope on the Horizon: Unlocking Opportunities and Capital

The journey towards providing permanent housing for those in need begins with an understanding that everyone has a part to play in this transformative journey. By joining forces and combining expertise, we can break free from the shackles of temporary accommodation and build a society that values housing as a fundamental human right.


Fortunately, the UK is brimming with development land and conversion opportunities across the country. These spaces present a realm of possibilities to construct new homes or repurpose existing structures to meet the ever-growing housing demand.


For example, Cornerstone Place has recently broken ground on a new build development site in Rochdale which will deliver 14 new carbon net zero homes together with our partners Rochdale Borough Council, Stepping Stone Projects and Social and Sustainable Capital.


There is also more than enough capital within the system, including the Homes England underspend, as reported by Inside Housing, that could be directed towards funding thousands of new affordable homes. As we have mentioned elsewhere on LinkedIn, this money could have easily still been deployed if Homes England were able to allow grant funding in excess of 50% of the project cost. We have lost projects for our clients precisely because build costs and interest rates have soared, but the grant rate remained the same. It’s a simple fix that would have a significant impact.


Ending the Nightmare: A Shared Responsibility

We have a duty to harness the potential of these opportunities and redirect resources to create permanent housing solutions for those in need. By doing so, we not only address the horrifying situation of temporary accommodation but also alleviate the exploding costs associated with it, ultimately easing the burden on the county's financial resources.


The road ahead may be challenging, but it is not insurmountable. The tragic reality of temporary accommodation in England demands immediate action and united efforts from all stakeholders. By coming together and pooling our resources, we can create a brighter, more hopeful future for the countless families and individuals in desperate need of a place to call home.


As a nation, we must recognise that the consequences of inaction are far too grave to ignore. Together, we can make a difference, breaking the chains of uncertainty and providing every person in need with the safe, stable, and permanent homes they deserve. Let us embrace this challenge and together work towards a brighter and more secure future for all.


Get in touch if you want to join us on this journey.

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