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Moving us beyond the legal and technical term.

Buying nice furniture as a young private renter is a myth. You constantly move, and who has the money to hire a van every time you do? You live with other people, sometimes strangers, and how can you be sure they’ll look after your things? And you’re constantly broke anyway, so where is the money to buy nice things. It’s been the cheapest of IKEA sofas, pokey mattress springs and pathetic hoovers for too long. I actually need to progress to the next level of adulting. Let me own things I am proud of and like being around! Please!

When you think of temporary accommodation, you think of a system at breaking point, that deprives 253,620 people in England, including 127,240 children of a safe, decent quality and permanent home to live in.1 So when we were approached to talk about temporary accommodation as young private renters, we couldn’t put two and two together. But after being encouraged to expand it beyond its legal and technical term to think about impacts and consequences, boy did we have a lot to say. Reflecting on the findings of our research and our own lived experiences, it wasn’t hard to see that young private renters’ experience of housing in the UK is undoubtedly one of temporariness. This comes down to a combination of things. Be it housing insecurity and proximity to homelessness and hidden homelessness, or frequent moves due to unaffordability, poor-quality housing and lack of protection of rights. Double that down with everyone around us telling us to aspire to home ownership – as if we weren’t in the midst of an actual housing crisis – and we end up getting pushed into a permanent feeling of temporariness. Waa.

Extract from an article written by young private renters about the impact of the temporary nature of private renting has on their lives. Read more about the project here.


  1. Statutory Homelessness April to June (Q2) 2020: England. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. October 2020.
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