During the London Assembly Housing Committee investigation into London’s private rented sector in March 2022, we heard about local authorities in west London placing residents in temporary accommodation in east London owing to the lower costs there and the requirement for a London-wide approach to homelessness. Did the GLA’s Enhanced Setting the Standard Programme [Ref ADD2415] seek to tackle this problem of inappropriate relocations? If so, what are the results and, if not, what action are you planning to take to deal with this issue?
I share your concerns about households being placed outside of their local areas. Although I do not have a statutory responsibility for temporary accommodation, I work closely with local authorities and organisations supporting homeless households.
Setting the Standard aims to ensure that all properties secured for homeless households in nightly-paid B&B and studio accommodation across London meet a suitable and safe property standard. The enhanced scheme, partially funded by the GLA, supported a pan-London approach to property inspections. Records are shared between participating boroughs to ensure confidence in the quality of accommodation procured and improve efficiencies.
I also supported Capital Letters, an accommodation procurement and management company that operates for the benefit of and is owned by boroughs. By enabling joint working, Capital Letters helps to reduce competition between boroughs and, as a result, to increase the potential for boroughs to accommodate homeless households within their own boundaries.