Value for money of homelessness services

With our value for money programme, launched in 2023, we are aiming to provide insight into how spending on homelessness services throughout the United Kingdom can be improved, with an initial focus on temporary accommodation.

Rarely has homelessness, and its impact upon public finances and people’s lives, been in the spotlight as much as it is today. In England, as of April 2024, there are almost 110,000 households staying in temporary accommodation. These feature more than 140,000 children. All parts of the United Kingdom have experienced similar recent surges.

The cost of temporary accommodation for families at risk of homelessness is approaching £2 billion per annum to the public purse in England. Many local authorities now report that they consider the cost of temporary accommodation to pose a risk to them in the long term.

But do we know if this intervention represents value for money, especially in different parts of the UK? With our value for money programme of work, launched in 2023, we are aiming to provide insight into how spending on temporary accommodation, and over time on other homelessness services, can be improved throughout the United Kingdom.  

How we're going about it

During 2023 and 2024 the CHI value for money team have visited local authorities throughout the United Kingdom. During these visits we have worked with housing and homelessness teams to understand the value for money issues that they face with temporary accommodation.

To get a full, grounded understanding of the issues local authorities are experiencing, these have featured visits to properties used as temporary accommodation and interviews with frontline workers and, by agreement, with some of their residents. They have also involved discussions with local authorities about their understanding of costs and the information they use to make spending decisions when placing families in temporary accommodation. We have developed a value for money framework for measuring spending on homelessness.

Our visits have involved working with local authorities to adapt the framework for measuring and improving the value for money of temporary accommodation and homeless to their services locally.

We expect to share findings by summer, 2024.

Project Details

Last Updated

June 15, 2024


In progress



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