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Temporary accommodation review

A review of temporary accommodation in West Lindsey and recommendation of need for additional temporary accommodation across the district.

At a glance

Housing Advisers Programme case study

2021/22 cohort 

Executive summary

West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) commissioned Neil Morland associates to undertake a review of the council’s temporary accommodation provision. The review allowed the council to develop a Temporary Accommodation strategy and a Temporary Accommodation (TA) procurement plan instead of responding on an ad hoc basis. As well as ensuring the council is now able to comply with statutory requirements and government guidance, the evidence provided by the review has allowed the council to leverage internal and external funding to enable the provision of additional units of temporary accommodation across the district to meet rising demand. 

Challenge and context

WLDC lease five units of self-contained accommodation to be utilised as temporary accommodation. The accommodation comprises five apartments within the same building. The units of accommodation are supported by two officers providing a total of 20 hours per week of support for up to five households. This accommodation and support is funded by WLDC.  

As the temporary accommodation is provided within one building with limited support, there have been instances where people have not been able to access the accommodation for various reasons, which are mainly due to all accommodation being in one building and so bed and breakfast accommodation is being over utilised. This is becoming more frequent and is against government guidance.  

In order to ensure WLDC can continue to provide statutory responsibilities to accommodate people under The Homeless Act 2002 and The Homeless Reduction Act 2018 suitable accommodation must be provided.  Government guidance is that: 

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation should only be used as a last resort, such as where emergency accommodation is required at very short notice, or in rare cases where it is the best option for the applicant (paragraph 17.31 Homelessness Code of Guidance, Feb 2018).  
  • Regulations state that applicants with 'family commitments', e.g. who are pregnant or have dependent children must not be housed in bed and breakfast accommodation unless there is no other suitable accommodation available, and then only for a maximum of six weeks. 
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation is not considered as suitable accommodation for victims of domestic abuse (The Domestic Abuse Act 2021). 

The difference we made

WLDC had been utilising a lot of time and resources procuring Temporary Accommodation on an ad hoc basis. This does not offer value for money or provide a good service to some of the most vulnerable residents.  

The evidence provided by the review has allowed us to draft both a Temporary Accommodation Strategy and a Temporary Accommodation Procurement Plan to ensure we are compliant with all regulatory requirements and are able to provide a service which is both more cost effective and customer focused. 

What's next?

For West Lindsey, we have used this evidence base to detail levels of additional temporary accommodation required and have created an internal project which has attracted internal and external funding to enable additional units of temporary accommodation across the district.  

We are yet to have the outcomes of this internal project.

Lessons learned

This project has allowed us to do deep dive into our temporary accommodation offering and has provided a framework for all other Local Authorities to do the same should they require.  


Sarah Elvin  

Homes, Health and Wellbeing Team Manger