Still, the wording “temporary housing” is kicked around a lot by those in the homeless industry – it is used in a generic sense referring to shelters and transitional housing programs.
Outside of the homeless industry, the phrase is used to describe short term leases for apartments. Sometimes these apartments will be labeled “affordable housing”, but they are still priced way out of reach of homeless people.
Some people may use “temporary housing” in reference to living indefinitely in cheap hotels and motels. But I just don’t see that as being homeless. Sure, people who live long term in hotels may be in a vulnerable state, and very close to becoming homeless, but as long as they are able to pay rent, they shouldn’t be considered homeless, not in the technical sense anyway. I am sure that some in the homeless industry will disagree with me on this point, but such is the current state of the industry, as concrete definitions of terms are still elusive.