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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Research will explore work to tackle homelessness


A new research project will explore how councils and housing associations can best work together to tackle homelessness.

The Chartered Institute of Housing and the University of Sheffield will work together on the new research project which will examine how the policy landscape, financial pressures and other challenges have impacted on the work the organisations do together to tackle homelessness.

The project will be supported by the Crook Public Service Fellowships at the University of Sheffield and the Economic and Social Research Council Impact Accelerator fund (ESRC IAA).

Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of CIH, said: “As the Homelessness Reduction Bill edges closer to becoming law and homelessness continues to rise, it is more important than ever that we look at ways to maximise the great work councils and housing associations can do together to tackle the issue.

“There are many examples of excellent work councils and housing associations already do together to tackle homelessness. However, increasing financial pressure, policy changes and a range of other challenges threaten to undermine some of that work.

“We’re delighted to be working with the University of Sheffield on this research which will look in detail at how the relationship is working at the moment and what obstacles are standing in the way of councils and housing associations working together. It will culminate in a report which sets out these challenges and gives recommendations on how we move forward.”

Craig Watkins, Professor of Planning and Housing and Director of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted that, with the support of the Crook Public Service Fellowships and the ESRC IAA, we have been able to develop a series of projects with policy makers and practitioners from across the housing sector to address some of the wicked problems facing the housing system today.

“The Crook Fellowships have provided an invaluable opportunity for academic researchers to co-produce rigorously evidenced research projects that will be of direct and immediate use to the practice community. We are grateful to Emeritus Professor Tony Crook for having the vision and foresight to initiate the scheme and are excited about the potential impact that all of the Fellows projects and the broader programme of work might have on our capacity to provide decent homes for all members of society.”

A survey is about to be sent out to local authorities and housing associations as the first stage of the research gets underway. This will be followed up by a series of interviews and case studies of local authority areas.

The findings of the research will be published in autumn.

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