To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people are quickly moved out of temporary accommodation; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that these properties (a) are pest-free and (b) provide a safe environment for residents.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation for households owed the main homelessness duty until suitable long-term accommodation can be offered to them. They must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them, and there is a right of appeal.
Housing authorities should, as a minimum, ensure that all temporary accommodation is free of Category 1 hazards as identified by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). We have given local authorities very strong powers to take enforcement action when they identify seriously hazardous conditions, including the power to issue heavy fines. Consideration of whether accommodation is suitable will require an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation in the light of the relevant needs, requirements and circumstances of the homeless person and their household.