“I’ve been here for two months when I was told I would only be here 28 days. I’ve had flat viewings, I was even accepted for somewhere, but nothing came of it.”
Like everyone during COVID the people the team spoke to struggled with the level of uncertainty the pandemic created. However, for people rough sleeping, living in hotels and hostels, this was magnified. Many people felt nervous moving into accommodation as they were unsure how long they would be there and where it would lead.
“I’m in a hotel still, tomorrow I’m going to another hotel in Camden. I should be able to stay there for around 2 months and then we will see what happens.’
In some situations, people felt the accommodation, such as hostels, was having a negative impact on them and they feared becoming trapped for a long period of time.
“They said it’s only for a short time, but I know someone who has been there seven months, that isn’t a short time. I’m going to end up back on the streets.”
Once people had moved into accommodation communication with staff often broke down, resulting in heightened anxiety about the future. Many sympathised with the staff, as they seemed to be as unsure as they were, but over time this often turned into frustration and resentment.
“I was in a hotel, they kept moving me every two weeks, I don’t know why; there was not trouble or anything. Then one day they kicked everyone out, no warning. Now I’m back on the street exactly where I was before.”
“I left the hotel last month, I’m in Stratford now sharing a flat with 4 other people. I didn’t have a choice about where I was moving too, I’m not familiar with the area. I’m hoping I’ll be able to move somewhere else soon.”
A feeling of stability where people can settle and create a home is what a number of people longed for, but instead one of the few options available is private renting which people remain fearful of due to the uncertainty over the length of stay.
“They’re talking about moving me on to private rented but I don’t want that, I want a studio council flat. You hear bad stories about private, it’s expensive and there’s no stability. If a landlord decides to sell you have to leave. I want a council flat for the stability.”