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Organisations come together to tackle homelessness in Tower Hamlets

Charities, ex-residents and housing professionals, including Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor for Housing, attended a homelessness workshop at Poplar Union in September to explore issues facing people in temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets.

The workshop, run by architecture charity Azuko and Kineara, brought together this diverse group to share knowledge and build a local partnership for action to tackle the borough’s growing homelessness problem.

“It’s a foundation from which we can work in partnership to improve the experience of those moving into and through temporary accommodation”, says Nathan Ardaiz, Design Researcher at Azuko.

“The workshop helped us explore people’s journeys into and out of temporary accommodation, looking at ways this could be improved so that residents have the least stressful experience’, adds Sally Anthony, Community Empowerment Coordinator at Poplar HARCA

Research estimates that more than 1500 households in Tower Hamlets are living in temporary accommodation, waiting with 20,000 others for a permanent housing solution. The uncertainty and insecurity of temporary accommodation can be difficult for people, impacting on their mental and physical health.

“At a time when the number of households in temporary accommodation is a staggering 63 percent higher than in 2010, it is more important than ever that we work together to tackle homelessness. It was exciting and inspiring to focus on solutions with people so committed to the same cause, and we’re looking forward to working in partnership in the future”, says Priya Theithi, Policy and Practice Officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing.

This event was a first step towards understanding and improving residents’ lived experience of temporary accommodation.

“Following the workshop, we want to work alongside our partners Kineara, to carry out some local research with people who have lived in temporary accommodation”, says Sally Anthony.