Exclusive: Temp accommodation use exposed

Whilst we revealed that the Housing Executive spends £18.8m across the region on temporary accommodation, and the spend on some of these areas might seem spectacular, what is actually behind the figures is shocking.

As part of the original housing FOI, we asked for a breakdown of who was placed in each of these types of accommodation.

As part of this, the Housing Executive categorizes people into five groups:

  • Elderly – A household of one or more adults where at least one of the adults is 60 years of age or more
  • Single – A single individual
  • Small Adult – A household of two adults (aged between 16 and 59)
  • Large Adult – A household of three or more adults with one or less children
  • Small Families – A household of one or two adults with one or two children
  • Large Families – A household of one or two adults with three or more children OR a household of three or more adults with two or more children

The monthly figures we received are from Sept 2013 until Feb 2016.

Private single lets being used to temporarily house small families are the most prevalent – used by 1,312 families, followed by private single lets being used by single people, housing 1,034 people respectively.


AMENDMENT 19/5/16: The Housing Executive have been in contact regarding the above paragraph.  They state that families are placed in accommodation “in line with their accommodation needs” and that their definition of ‘private single lets’ are not one bedroom properties, but one property unit.  We are happy to make this amendment.

Non-standard refers to exceptional placements in B&B’s, Guesthouses, Hotels where access to general temporary accommodation is not immediately available – these have been used a total of 1,268 times to house all categories of people – the highest of which were single, followed by small families.


Elderly people – those aged 60 or over, had to be placed in temporary accommodation a staggering 233 times, 89 of those in single private lets and 69 in non-standard accommodation.  This has happened more times in January-February 2016 than in the whole of 2013.

These figures represent the number of times each of the respective category have been placed in that accommodation, not the number of individuals.




In total, these types of accommodation were used 17,126 times in the period April 2010-February 2016.  In terms of addressing the problem, only 471 social housing properties have been built in 2015/16 up to the 16th March 2016.

In total, the number of times people have been placed in temporary accommodation doubled from 2013 to 2014, and remained largely steady in 2015.  Figures for 2016 are only available for January and February, but already more elderly persons have been placed in temporary accommodation than in the whole year of 2013.


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