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Temporary accommodation

View a video demonstration on how to apply for the property finders service if you'd like an alternative option to residing in temporary accommodation

The information on this page is intended for the homeless households currently placed in our temporary accommodation. We've also produced an information leaflet on temporary accommodation (PDF, 91kb), which provides more helpful information on the subject.

In addition to our temporary accommodation households, we also work with private landlords and homeowners to find housing solutions. If you're interested in earning money from your property , contact us as we always need more properties.

How long will you be in temporary accommodation?

If our investigations show that we have a housing duty towards you, you may need to remain in temporary accommodation until we can find you permanent housing. Due to the short supply of social housing, households may need to stay in temporary accommodation for over a year.

We seek to provide temporary accommodation within our borough or as close to the borough boundaries as possible.

If we're able to offer you a permanent home, it may be a:

  • council property
  • housing association property
  • tenancy in the private sector

Are you feeling unsafe in your home?

This CrimeStoppers poster could help (PDF, 2.2mb).

Paying for temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation isn’t free. You’ll be expected to pay for whatever type of temporary accommodation we provide. If you fail to pay, you'll be evicted and we'll have no further housing duty toward you.

You can pay your rent by using our secure online payment system.

Pay your rent

If you've registered at MySouthwark, you can also view your rent account online.

You may be able to apply for benefits, such as Universal Credit, to help pay for rented accommodation.

You can contact our Southwark Local Support Team for assistance with benefits.

Refusing temporary accommodation

If you refuse our offer of temporary accommodation (while we investigate your homeless application), we may no longer have a duty to provide housing. 

Furniture and goods

You may not be able to take all your belongings into temporary accommodation. If so, you'll need to arrange storage.


It's not possible to take pets into temporary accommodation (except guide dogs). You should arrange for your pets to be temporarily looked after by friends or family. If this isn't possible, contact us and we'll look at other options.

Contact information

Who you'll need to contact (for example, to report a repair), will depend on the type of temporary accommodation you're living in. You can find contact information in the paperwork you were given when you signed up for the accommodation.

If you're unable to find this, call one of the numbers below to speak to an officer:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm 020 7525 7526 or 020 7525 4170
  • outside normal office hours (urgent repairs) 0800 952 4444

How to manage my tenancy

To help you get ready for maintaining a tenancy in the private rented sector, or any other tenancy, see our tenancy workshop advice (PDF, 1007kb).

Page last updated: 25 April 2023


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