How do we make a Wales where homelessness is rare, brief and unrepeated? This important question drives our research under this thematic area. We will explore opportunities for more timely interventions, and produce an evidence base on what works to prevent homelessness, for whom and in what context.
We recognise that homelessness is often the outcome of housing which is insecure, physically inadequate or lacks privacy. Our research will therefore touch upon wider housing related issues, such as those related to housing (in)affordability, which itself leads to housing insecurity.
Additionally, a large part of our work will be to collaborate with the homelessness policy team in Welsh Government and the wider housing-support related sector in Wales, to improve local authority homelessness data collection and to deposit historic data in the SAIL Databank to facilitate linkage-based research.
Working alongside peers from the Centre for Homelessness Impact, the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD), and Welsh Government policy teams, ensures that our research will have greater relevance and impact on the work of the housing-related sector in Wales and the wider UK.
Our work in this research area is guided by government’s high level action plan published in 2021 to achieve a Wales where homelessness is rare, brief, and unrepeated. We are also guided by the recognition that homelessness is often the outcome of housing which is insecure, poor quality, and unaffordable, and in order to address homelessness, we must therefore address wider housing related issues.
A large part of our work will be to collaborate with the homelessness policy team in Welsh Government and the wider housing-support related sector in Wales, in order to improve local authority homelessness data collection and to deposit historic data in the SAIL Databank to facilitate linkage-based research.
We will provide evidence of the impacts of homelessness and housing insecurity on a range of outcomes, including use of healthcare services and substance misuse treatment.
We will further the aims of government to increase homelessness prevention by providing evidence on what local authority actions work in ending and preventing returns to homelessness, and for which groups of people.
Our work will contribute to the ‘rapid rehousing’ agenda in Wales, as outlined in the Programme for Government, by exploring how long it currently takes to rehouse people experiencing homelessness, whether providing people with settled accommodation quickly leads to stable long-term housing outcomes, and if a benchmark can be created in terms of how rapidly people should be rehoused.
Through linkage between data sources from otherwise distinct policy areas, we will explore the extent to which homelessness overlaps with other forms of severe disadvantage such as mental health issues, substance use, alcohol dependency, and interactions with the criminal justice system. By combining data from across policy areas, we will also engage in research demonstrating the potential impact improved cross-sector working can have on homelessness (and wider) prevention efforts. For example, we will explore whether interactions with the police can be used as a signal for the early identification of people approaching local authority housing teams because of domestic violence.
We will look at rental markets and affordability, including the private rental sector in Wales, local housing allowance rates, and housing benefits.
We will continue work begun under ADR Wales 2019-21 into the impact of Covid-19 on the homeless population in Wales, including the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccination.
We recognise that our work on homelessness and housing will intersect with many of the thematic research areas, particularly those of well-being and social justice, and will work collaboratively where appropriate and beneficial to the impact of our work.
Journal Article: A population level study of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence amongst people experiencing homelessness in Wales, UK
Data Insight: Homelessness Duration in Scotland: How long does it take?
This research explores the length of time that housing support is given to homeless households in Scotland by local authority housing teams.
Data Insight: Severe and multiple disadvantage
This Data Insight explores the scale and overlap of substance misuse and housing issues in the City and County of Swansea.