We may offer temporary accommodation to you, if you are:

  • homeless
  • not subject to immigration control
  • in 'priority need' - this includes care leavers; people with dependent children; pregnant women; and people vulnerable through old age, serious ill health, domestic violence, or other reasons

Get housing help now

Please use our new online help tool to get help straight away.

Just answer a few questions about your situation and it will explain your housing options and tell you what to do next. It will tell you if you need to come in to see us urgently and what you need to bring.

Even if you're not entitled for temporary accommodation but are worried about becoming homeless, we can still help you.

What is temporary accommodation and where is it?

There are different types of temporary accommodation, the main ones are:

  • Bed and Breakfast (B&B)
  • privately rented self-contained accommodation
  • hostels owned and managed by us

We aim to find accommodation for you within Waltham Forest whenever possible, but we can't guarantee that it will be within the borough, or within London.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • there are far more people in need of accommodation than there are available properties in our borough
  • we have to be sure that you can afford to pay the rent, but most rents in the area are unaffordable for people on benefits or a low income

If you have to move to a new area, we have a specialist team to help you. They can help you apply for school places, register with doctors, and contact local services.

Can I refuse my temporary accommodation?

If you're entitled to an offer of temporary accommodation from us, we'll only offer you one suitable property. Here's what will happen if you refuse it.

If this is an interim offer, before we've made a decision on your homelessness application, then you'll need to find your own accommodation. If we then accept your homeless application, we will make a second offer to you.

If we've already accepted your homelessness application, and you refuse, then we will no longer have a duty to house you.

If you believe the accommodation is unsuitable, you have the right to request a review of our decision. You must request this in writing within 21 days.

Who is responsible for paying my rent?

You are responsible for paying your rent. Temporary accommodation can be expensive, and Housing Benefit may not cover all your rent.

You must keep up-to-date with your payments and not get into arrears. If you get in arrears, you won't be entitled to an offer of permanent housing from us. You may be evicted from your temporary accommodation.

If we give you temporary accommodation, we can help you claim for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Information to download

Find out how we allocate temporary accommodation:

For more information about temporary housing, download our leaflet: