February 23, 2023
More than 3,000 children live in temporary accommodation provided by Westminster City Council. We wanted to better understand the impact this has on their lives. In April 2021, we partnered with Home-Start Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham (WKCHF) and the Westminster Foundation to commission a piece of research exploring the lived experience of families living in temporary accommodation.
Sadly, our findings confirm a growing evidence base demonstrating the harmful impact that living in temporary accommodation can have on children and their families. It is far more than a housing problem; it impacts on health, education and child development. It adds financial pressures and it is a cause and consequence of inequality.
During the research, families told us about the upheaval and trauma that so often accompanies moving into temporary accommodation and they frequently lacked a realistic hope of moving out of this extremely challenging situation. As such, we learnt that the experience is, very often, not ‘temporary’ and it prevents families from realising their idea of home.
We are making four key recommendations from this research:
1. Develop a targeted support offer for families moving into, and living in, temporary accommodation
2. Work collaboratively with statutory and voluntary sector partners to ensure the best use of our collective resources
3. Continue to invest in our trauma-informed service provision
4. Find ways to use our voice at a local and national level to amplify the experiences of families living in temporary accommodation.
With special thanks to all the families who shared their experiences and made this possible. The research was carried out by Becky Rice an independent researcher. You can read the full report here.
Contact Louise Davies, Director of Services, if you're interested in finding out more and working with us.
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