Homelessness prevention in the UK

Project Summary:

The aim of this study is to critically examine the shifting policies of homelessness prevention across the UK nations, with a view to mutual lesson learning. Across the UK, and the majority of the developed world, there has been a paradigm shift away from ‘warehousing’ homeless people in temporary accommodation towards prevention and rapid response-focussed interventions. The considerable homelessness prevention policy changes have been explored in individual UK nations, most notably through the Crisis/JRF-commissioned Homelessness Monitor series, but no attempt has yet been made to look across the nations in order to identify comparative lessons which might inform future practice across the UK and globally. This topic emerged as a clear priority from both regional and prioritisation workshops, and takes advantage of the ‘natural experiment’ generated by post-devolution policy divergence in this field.

The study will provide a high-level comparison and will primarily draw on two key sources of data: 1] aggregated administrative homelessness data reported by all local authorities to respective governments; 2] interviews with approximately 10 key informants in each of the UK nations (n=40).

The intended outputs of this project are an open access, co-authored, academic journal article (to be published 2020) and an accompanying policy briefing (see below).

Timeline: Spring 2019

Team: Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick (Co-I), Dr Peter Mackie (Co-I), Dr Bob Smith (KE).

Theme: Homelessness