For people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, accessing (or maintaining) a tenancy in the private rented sector (PRS) can be an uphill battle. Landlords literally hold the keys to the PRS, which is becoming an increasingly important part of the housing system. The decisions landlords make are vital. In a recent survey, 52% of landlords reported that they would be unwilling to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit (English Private Landlord Survey 2018). Even a small increase in the proportion of landlords willing to accept people at risk could increase housing availability and help to reduce levels of homelessness.
BIT work in partnership with governments, local authorities, businesses and charities to tackle major policy problems and improve communities and lives, typically by using empirical methods. Some examples of BIT’s work include:
As a member of the What Works Network, CHI is dedicated to introducing new empirical methods to homelessness. This will help us develop a much better understanding of what works, for whom, where.
Our evidence tools highlighted a lack of causal evidence on the impact of homelessness interventions. By working with a partner such as BIT, with deep expertise in behaviour science and impact evaluations — methods that have helped maximise positive impact in other social policy fields — we know the same is possible in homelessness.
Our first collaboration aims to increase the proportion of landlords willing to accept (or maintain) people on housing benefit. One of CHI’s programme themes is ‘Creating a Housing System that Leaves No One Behind’ — the ‘H’ in the SHARE framework — and our maps indicated we don’t know enough about this issue, while the research priorities co-creation workshops identified it as a priority.
We are currently scoping out the work and are looking for local authorities or other organisations to partner with. If you work on housing for a local authority/other organisations and are interested in finding out more please get in touch with us. We’re excited about the potential for positive impact and look forward to working to sharing and our learnings from the process along the way. The final analysis and reporting will be completed in Spring 2020.
The landlord trials are the first in what we hope will be an ongoing relationship. Over the next few years, we intend to run trials across the points in the homelessness system where better evidence could have the most impact.
Introducing the UK’s first programme of cash transfers to relieve homelessness
We are pleased to be taking part in a ground-breaking programme which will test out an intervention to support people impacted by or at risk of homelessness.
Smarter investments to end homelessness: what works?
In this moment of great change, if we are to achieve our shared ambition to end homelessness for good, we must use this opportunity to understand how to end it effectively and sustainably.