COVID-19 and homelessness: learning from crisis to inform future policy

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted significantly on the lives of homeless people and has led to radical changes in policy and practice responses to homelessness across the globe. Actors such as national and local governments, as well as third sector and faith based organisations, moved swiftly to accommodate street homeless people – for the first time homelessness was treated as a crisis.

Across the homelessness sector there is widespread recognition that this crisis has created a juncture whereby the sector, with research insights from academia, can work together to get the future right for homeless people, learning from the unique lessons that are emerging from the current pandemic.

This study will deliver a systematic examination of the response to homelessness during the crisis. It will identify the main components of the response and any geographical variations within and across the devolved nations of the UK; it will explore the impacts on homeless people and those trying to provide assistance; and crucially the research will consider what this may mean for future policy and practice that effectively meets the needs of homeless people.

Team: Dr Pete Mackie, Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick (Lead Co-Investigators) and Dr Chris Foye (Knowledge Exchange)

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This is a part of a wider project being undertaken by CaCHE exploring housing policies and the COVID-19 pandemic.