Our first research network meeting started with a welcome and introduction from Stephen Aldridge, Chief Economist and Director of Analysis and Data Directorate at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. As it was the first time the network had convened, Stephen also provided an overview of the aims and objectives of the group.
The first presentation was from Hannah Green, CHI’s Lived Experiences Specialist who summarised a recent piece of writing which discusses women’s homelessness and violence against women.
The second presentation was from Dr Al Story (UCLH) & Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL). They summarised a programme for triaging, testing and cohorting people in emergency accommodation - in a nutshell, this helped identify those who were at highest risk from COVID-19 infection and designed a plan to test and allocate them to different types of support depending on their risk. Al and Andrew also highlighted that COVID-19 prevalence in the UK using this approach (3-4%) was considerably lower than in shelters in the US (30-40%). Their modelling suggests that measures put in place during the Everyone In Initiative potentially reduced the number of contagions and deaths in the UK (avoided 24,000 infections and +300 deaths). The article was published in Decembers edition of the Lancet.
The final presentation was from Patrick Fowler of Washington University. He discussed a mathematical modelling which built on previous data to estimate the number of new homelessness cases as a result of COVID under ‘no response’ and ‘coordinated response’. This model used information on historical levels of homelessness, estimates of evictions, and calibrated with other economic variables (e.g. service constraints). Pairing some current data with the patterns observed in historical data, the simulations helped to predict post-COVID demand for housing and homelessness assistance.
The final part of the meeting involved smaller breakout sessions rooms where all members provided brief updates on their current work and discussed the future format of the group including ongoing internal communications.
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