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Types of temporary accommodation

There are two types of temporary accommodation:

  • emergency temporary accommodation, also known as interim accommodation
  • temporary accommodation.

Interim accommodation

The Royal Borough of Greenwich will provide you with interim accommodation if there is reason to believe you are homeless, eligible for help and may be in a priority group.

Please note - the interim accommodation you're offered may not be in Royal Greenwich, and you may have to share facilities with others.

How long can I stay in interim accommodation?

You can stay in your interim accommodation until the council has made a decision on your homeless application and on if it can help you.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has legal duties to provide accommodation to some, but not all, homeless people.

If the council accepts a duty to accommodate you as a homeless person, you'll be offered long term temporary accommodation, which is suitable for your needs.

If the council doesn't accept a duty to house you as a homeless person, you'll have to leave your interim accommodation and make your own housing arrangements. You'll be notified of this in writing.

Storage arrangements for interim accommodation

You can only take essential belongings and clothing with you to interim accommodation. You need to make arrangements to make sure your other belongings, including furniture, are safe.

If you can't arrange storage for your furniture (for example, because you were made homeless without advance notice), the temporary accommodation team can provide you with access to storage facilities.

Please note - these facilities are outside the borough and you would have arrange for your property to be taken to and from the facilities yourself.

The council cannot provide a removal service - you should let your case officer know if you have particular difficulties.

Temporary accommodation

Once the Royal Borough of Greenwich has assessed your application and established it can help you, it will offer you temporary accommodation.

The council may decide that you can remain at your interim property until it can offer you permanent rehousing, or it may offer you alternative temporary accommodation.

The council will try to provide you with temporary accommodation that is suitable for your household needs considering:

  • the size of the accommodation
  • any health or other needs anyone in your household has that affects where you can live
  • the cost of the accommodation and how much you can afford to pay
  • the location of the accommodation as well as your needs to get to schools, health or other essential services.

Please note - if you turn down the offer of suitable temporary accommodation, you won't be offered alternative accommodation.

How long can I stay in temporary accommodation?

While living in temporary accommodation, you must respect the terms and conditions of the agreement you sign on moving in.

As long as you pay your rent and charges and don't breach any of the terms and conditions for your accommodation, you can usually stay there until you're offered permanent rehousing. Sometimes, the council has to move families between temporary addresses to make the most of the properties available.

Permanent housing could be a housing association or council tenancy, or a tenancy with a private landlord.

Please note - if you break the terms and conditions of your agreement and are evicted from your temporary accommodation as a result, the council won't continue to help you with your housing.

If you're unhappy with your temporary accommodation

If you're unhappy with the accommodation offered, or your circumstances change while you're living in temporary accommodation, contact your temporary accommodation officer.

You can also ask for a formal review of the council's decision on your temporary accommodation.