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October 27, 2022

Five questions we'll explore at our upcoming Impact Forum

With inflation at a 30-year high and food, fuel and energy prices rising, many people are being put in a precarious situation. At our upcoming Impact Forum, on 15 + 16 November, we’ll be bringing together global evidence of interventions to prevent and relieve homelessness, looking at what works to prevent worsening homelessness in a cost of living emergency. 

Here are a few of the questions we’ll be asking throughout the course of the online event:

The demographics of those in temporary accommodation are changing. What can we do about it?

Temporary accommodation (TA) is only ever intended as a short-term solution, but many find themselves stuck in the system long-term, and the number of households in TA in England has increased steadily since 2011. We’ve also witnessed a shift in demand resulting from economic and demographic change, including population growth, changes in household composition, economic migration and student demand. The most recent figures show that households with children make up nearly 60% of those living in TA, totalling some 124,290 dependent children in England.

We know that a loss of tenancy in the private rented sector (PRS) is the leading cause of homelessness in the UK, and with the cost of living increasing and a lack of affordable housing, this seems likely to continue to be the case. In one of the sessions we will explore what works to support families into long-term housing, and solutions to improve the experiences of people living in TA. 

Join a panel made up of experts with lived experience of homelessness, researchers and explore the challenges around temporary accommodation and what works to support families into permanent housing. 

How can we prevent new people sleeping on the streets this winter?

New figures show that between April and June 2022, almost 3,000 people were observed to be sleeping rough in London – an increase of nearly a quarter compared to the same period in 2021, and a 16% rise on the previous three months in 2022. Almost half of those were sleeping rough for the first time.

So what works in preventing street homelessness, and what can we learn from action in cities outside the UK? We’ll be joined by a range of speakers to explore different solutions to preventing rough sleeping.

Is there a causal relationship between welfare spending and homelessness and rough sleeping?

Despite the fact that no causal evidence exists on the relationship between reductions to the Universal Credit (UC) housing element and levels of homelessness, it is nevertheless possible to draw insights from the data available. Between 2010 and 2017 we witnessed reductions in welfare support while at the same time, the number of people experiencing street and other forms of homelessness increased.

Our recent Evidence Note on welfare and homelessness explores the link between the two, and recommends the implementation of a data insights programme to better understand the relationship between receipt of benefits and street homelessness. Join our online Impact Forum to hear from our research team and an expert with lived experience.

What is the Orwell Prize and how is CHI involved?

The Orwell Prize for Reporting Homelessness is for reporting, writing or storytelling on homelessness that utilises robust evidence and data, highlights evidence-led solutions, and conveys insights from personal experiences of homelessness.

This year, the Centre for Homelessness Impact is sponsoring the Prize, and will be supporting judges who will be identifying entries that avoid or challenge stigma associated with homelessness. Entries from people with lived experience of homelessness are strongly encouraged. Join us at the Impact Forum to hear from a previous winner of the Prize and how you can get involved.

What can I do to end homelessness?

Our mission is to end homelessness through evidence-led change, and we invite you – from across the country, from governments, local authorities, academia, front-line organisations and the third sector – to join us in this call to action.

This is a defining moment for homelessness. Join our online session and hear from two of our Ambassadors about why this is a crucial time, and how you can get involved in our End it with Evidence campaign.

How can I attend?

Our Impact Forum is free to attend, and will be taking place on 15 + 16 November online on Zoom. Everyone with an interest in ending homelessness is welcome to attend. Visit our Eventbrite page to find out more and book your free ticket.

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