Centre for Homelessness Impact research shows one in six believe that they could be affected by homelessness

Centre for Homelessness Impact research shows one in six believe that they could be affected by homelessness

PR Newswire

LONDON, Dec. 18, 2020

LONDON, Dec. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, more than one in six of us believes that it is very or fairly likely that we could personally experience homelessness.  Among the 16 to 34-year-old age group this figure is one in four and just over a fifth (21%) of those renting from private or social landlords.

According to a new survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI), one of nine independent What Works Centres in the UK, 65% of people say they think decisions about homelessness should be mostly based on evidence, rather than just views about what is the right thing to do.

A majority, 54%, think that too little attention is paid to evidence of what works when decisions are made about important issues facing the country. Specifically, on homelessness, 57% choose this from a list as a key source to inform decision-making (twice the proportion who choose the views of experts and the cost/amount of money needed). The views of people affected by/at risk of homelessness are also considered important; chosen by 54%.

"Not only are the public very concerned about homelessness but, as our research shows, they're clearly aware that the best way to make decisions is to base them on evidence of what works,' says Dr Lígia Teixeira, chief executive of the Centre for Homelessness Impact.

"Policymakers and practitioners must have good information on which to base their decisions. Yet today, there is surprisingly little rigorous evidence on homelessness policy and programmes. Taking an evidence-based approach, similar to that used in medicine and education, means that those working in homelessness will have the tools that they need to provide better outcomes to help those experiencing, or at risk of homelessness."

She added: "We recently launched our End it with Evidence Campaign to help turn the tide on homelessness and lead, at this moment of great change, an evidence-led transformation to ensure that, as part of efforts to end homelessness across the UK, we use this opportunity to understand how to end it effectively."

The survey also found that three-quarters (74%) of people expect homelessness in the UK to increase over the next 12 months, with a similar figure believing that society doesn't pay enough attention to the issue (71%).  Approaching two thirds (63%) believe that we all have a role to play in ending homelessness.

Notes for Editors:

1.  The Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI), is a member of the What Works Network, along with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Education Endowment Foundation among others. It advocates for an evidenced based approach to ending homelessness for good. CHI support organisations in the field of homelessness and beyond to make evidence-led decisions and to adopt evidence-led practices.

2.  The survey was designed to support the Centre for Homelessness Impact's End it with evidence campaign. The End it with evidence campaign is founded on the three following principles, which call upon those working in homelessness to:

  1. Build the evidence of the policies, practices and programmes that achieve the most effective results to improve the lives of people who are homeless or at risk.
  2. Build the capacity needed to act promptly on the best knowledge available to improve decisions and help limited resources go further.
  3. Use evidence-led communications to change the conversation around
    homelessness, challenge stereotypes, and make sure that homelessness is
    not a defining factor in anyone's life.

3.  Survey of 2,180 UK adults aged 16-75 conducted online by Ipsos MORI for CHI between 25 November and 2 December 2020. Booster samples achieved in Wales (514), Scotland (516) and Northern Ireland (200) to add to 950 in England. Data has been weighted to the known population profile at the UK level.

* Homelessness was defined as "…including people experiencing street homelessness but you don't have to be sleeping on the streets to be considered homeless – people can be homeless if they are living in hostels, shelters, B&Bs, squatting, or 'sofa surfing' i.e. staying with friends or relatives while attempting to find permanent accommodation."

More survey data and commentary will be shared in early 2021 including findings from further questions covering public attitudes, knowledge and priorities in respect of homelessness plus analysis of differences among demographic and geographic groups of the UK population.

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