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What Works Community

Building capacity within local areas to use evidence and data to achieve breakthrough results. 

How we support change

Become evidence and data-driven

Prioritise resources and efforts more effectively

Embrace a culture of collaboration and continuous learning

Nurture strong, visionary leaders to collaborate across silos

An image of housing.
The pilots theme: increasing access to the private rental market for people who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

evidence accelerator

We have invited three local authorities to to take part in a What Works Community pilot

We will work with East Ayrshire, Southend-on-Sea and Pembrokeshire for 8 months to tackle an evidence accelerator challenge: to increase the number and duration of successful tenancies in the private rental market to people who have or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.


We have brought together expert partners to give local areas the ability to respond with new, cutting edge skills and capabilities.

Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Civic Impact works with governments to make decisions and improve people’s quality of life informed by data. They help improve data practices, infrastructure and strengthen capabilities on data quality and analysis.

IDEO is a global design company that creates positive impact through human-centered design. They help organisations apply human-centered and design-based approaches, equipping them with the tools and mindsets necessary for creative confidence and the delivery of innovative solutions.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) works to generate and apply behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver results for citizens and society. BIT works in partnership with governments, local authorities, businesses and charities, often using simple changes to tackle major policy problems.

“East Ayrshire Council is delighted to be working with the Centre for Homelessness Impact on this What Works Community pilot to explore the private sector as a sustainable and accessible housing option for people experiencing homelessness.”

Councillor Elena Whitham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, East Ayrshire Council

“This is an opportunity for us to find new ways of working and new relationships to help people sustain tenancies in the private sector. It is one of a range of measures we are pursuing to reduce homelessness in the town, sitting alongside our efforts to acquire and to build more genuinely affordable housing.”

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

“One of our priorities is supporting people into the private sector, so we'll look to build capacity for the use of evidence and data not just to see more rapid and sustainable reductions in homelessness, but more broadly to sustaining tenancies across all tenures.”

Cllr. Michelle Bateman, Cabinet Member for Housing, Pembrokeshire Council

Coming soon

Open-access tools to support a Community of Practice at scale

Throughout the pilot we will co-develop material to inform open access tools and services. Longer-term, we will explore different themes with others in order to pioneer a new way of collaborative, data-driven and person-centred working: building the wider What Works Community of practice.

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