The ‘H’ of the Centre for Homelessness Impact’s SHARE framework stands for ‘a housing system that leaves no-one behind’. Our team was keen to explore ways we can make that a reality.
Clearly, that’s a huge area and there are thousands of people trying across the country devoting their time to redesigning our housing system. So where could we best add value?
We decided to look at how the existing stock of housing is allocated. Our initial interviews were with people at both ends of the housing need spectrum. We spoke to people experiencing homelessness with additional complex needs; and to those whose circumstances meant that they would be able to make ends meet, were it not for high housing costs.
When we spoke to professionals, they explained that the ‘choice based lettings’ systems they use were intended to enable housing applicants to make informed choices and meet these ‘soft needs’. But these systems often don’t apply to those in greatest need, and even those who do use them find that limited supply means limited choice.
We wanted to help people navigate these complex systems and level the playing field so that applicants could make informed choices about what matters to them. That’s why we’re designing a ‘navigator’ that helps people understand how long they’re likely to wait for housing; how changing some of their requirements would affect their wait time, and what other choices are open to them. We’re hoping the data generated by the navigator might be useful to councils and housing providers when they’re making decisions about future housing provision.
Watch this space!
The impact of providing people housing outside their local area: An Evaluation of HomeFinder UK
Find out more about our plans for evaluating HomeFinder UK and how it will enable us to better understand how approaches to out of area moves impact people.
What can universities do to prevent homelessness?
What has homelessness got to do with universities? The responses to this question may range from a puzzled shrug to an emphatic ‘nothing’. Is not ending homelessness the responsibility of the state, some will ask? The prevalence of homelessness tends to be higher in university towns and cities, in some cases strikingly so.
Could universities do more to prevent homelessness?
Universities should do more to track and prevent homelessness among their students and can play a significant, wider role in supporting efforts to end all forms of homelessness, our latest policy paper published in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute argues.