Housing and homelessness

London Funders reports

London's housing scene
In October 2012 London Funders convened a meeting to review changes in housing policy and welfare benefits that will have a significant impact on London,  much of it negative. Funders also looked at practical examples of positive investment in housing and homelessness.  Speakers included Anne Power, Head of LSE Housing and Communities, Alan Benson, Head of Housing Strategy and Services, Greater London Authority and Heather Petch.
See a summary of the meeting here.

External publications

A better fit? Creating housing choices for an ageing population
April 2012, Shelter

Bricks or benefits? Rebalancing housing investment
May 2012, Shelter 

Building a new deal for London: Final report of the London Housing Commission
London Housing Commission (March 2016)


London faces unprecedented challenges in housing its citizens. The London Housing Commission proposes a new deal to secure essential powers and resources for the London Mayor and boroughs, and a programme of immediate actions to start to redress the crisis.

The case for investing in London's affordable housing 
June 2011,Christine ME Whitehead with Tony Travers, LSE London

The Chrysalis Project
Commonweal Housing and St Mungo’s, 2013
An informative evaluation report on work since 2009 to stop women failing in progress from substance dependency and street prostitution at the point when they leave a supportive hostel environment and start to live independently. The project eases the transition by taking women from high support, through semi-independence and then to self-contained accommodation with some continuing help and advice. Full findings of the Chrysalis evaluation here.

The Coalition’s housing and planning reform package: focus on planning
September 2012, Andrew Ross, Local Government Information Unit

Community investment by social housing organisations: measuring the impact
Survey Report for HACT, 2012; researchers: Vanessa Wilkes and Professor David Mullins, Third Sector Research Centre
This picture of the measurement tools being used by over 30 social landlords shows that while there is general recognition of the importance of measuring impact, there are also concerns about cost, approach and potential duplication and wide variation in the approaches used. This proves to be a complex area with no easy choices. Organisations that have developed in-house tools are generally less satisfied than those using external tools but only one external tool has been specifically designed for the sector. There is a strong interest in measuring joint outcomes, for example where housing associations join with other agencies to invest in neighbourhood based initiatives, but very little existing practice. Full research reportSummary report by HACT.

Crumbs for Londoners
Darren Johnson, September 2013
This report by the Green Party’s Darren Johnson discusses the Mayor’s approach to solving London’s high cost housing problem and outlines its flaws and possible consequences.

Divided City: The value of mixed communities in expensive neighbourhoods
Katie Bates, Laura Lane, Anne Power, Nicola Serle (2013)
This LSE Housing and Communities reports on tenants of Octavia Housing. 

Estate regeneration briefing for expert panel
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (May 2016)
This briefing examines the policy context, lessons from previous estate regeneration initiatives and evidence on the relationship between housing and poverty.

Fair to middling: report of the Commission on Intermediate Housing
Centre for London (November 2015)
This report looks at whether housing for working people with modest incomes in London can be improved and if so, how. It argues that intermediate housing – that is sub-market housing catering to people on modest incomes – could help to ease London’s housing crisis, but currently amounts to less than 2% of housing stock in the capital.

Fair Housing: London Cost of Living Report
Tom Copley AM, January 2014
Written by Tom Copley, Labour Londonwide assembly member, Fair Housing calls for the mayor to establish a new housing corporation run by Homes for London to build homes directly and tackle the backlog of supply. The report offered recommendations to ensure the private rented sector presents value for money to tenants and to ensure that housing in London is affordable.

Fuel- poor households
Association for the Conservation of Energy, 2012
A report showing that funding designed to support fuel poor households is being cut by nearly a third, with potentially serious implications for fuel poor households.

Health and Homelessness: Understanding the costs and role of primary care services for our homeless people
St Mungo’s (2013)
A report on how homeless people use primary healthcare services. See the full findings of the Department of Health-commissioned report.

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2016
Crisis and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (January 2016)
This annual state-of-the nation report draws on a survey of councils, statistical analysis and in-depth interviews to analyse the impact of economic and policy developments on homelessness. It shows that:

-Councils across England are struggling to cope with numbers of single homeless people, with the majority backing a change in the law to expand homelessness prevention;

-Nine out of ten English councils often (54%) or sometimes (34%) find it difficult to help single homeless people aged 25-34; and

-87% of English councils find it difficult to help people aged 18-24.

Home Truths 2013/14: the housing market in England
National Housing Federation (December 2013)
This report shows England’s distorted economic recovery is pushing an extra 310 working people a day on to housing benefit. Rising rents in growth areas such as London are pushing more and more working people over the edge, forcing one working person every five minutes to turn to the Government for housing benefit to keep the roof over their heads. 

House prices in London: an economic analysis of London’s housing market
Greater London Authority (November 2015)
This publication looks at how house prices are set in economic terms, how they are measured and why the cost of housing matters for London’s economy and its residents. It considers how affordability might be affected by future changes in interest rates.

Housing: a growing city
James Gleeson, GLA Housing Unit, 2012
Housing trends in London, from the demand/supply imbalance to consequences for affordability and housing need. See also the London Datastore – Focus on London, which has a wealth of resources including an interactive histogram with a selection of borough data useful for comparison.

Housing and Planning Bill briefing

London Councils (January 2016)

This briefing updates members on the progress of the Housing and Planning Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Lords on 26 January. London Councils has been actively seeking to influence the shape of the legislation throughout the passage of the bill in the Commons, and this briefing provides an update on the written evidence and amendments it has supported in the interests of London’s housing.

Housing associations and provision for destitute migrants
Housing and Migration Network, 2012
How housing associations and charities can together provide short-term housing and support for destitute asylum seekers and other migrants, and especially concerned with destitute asylum seekers with no access to public funds but some prospect of regularising their status. 

Housing in England: overview, National Audit Office (January 2017)

The National Audit Office has published an overview of the housing market in England, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s housing strategy and the overall housing policy landscape. The need for housing in England has in recent years grown faster than its supply.

Download here

Homeless Bound?
National Housing Federation, 2012
Data from local authorities, housing associations and central government on homelessness in London, the South East and East of England, and the families and single people most at risk of becoming homeless. Brief case studies include the East London Reciprocal Agreement between boroughs and housing associations to help people move between boroughs to relieve pressure on housing, help avoid harm (e.g. domestic violence), or to assist with disability/care needs.

Housing costs risk piling pressure on Outer London services
2011, London's Poverty Profile, Trust for London

Housing and Migration: A UK Guide to issues and solutions
CIH for the Housing and Migration Network, 2012
Guidance backed up by practical examples of how the UK housing sector can support new migrants and the neighbourhoods in which they live and work. The Network recognises that migration adds to existing pressure on housing markets at neighbourhood level with examples geared towards the role of local housing authorities and social landlords on areas such as how to use existing data sources to build population profiles; developing neighbourhood approaches that are inclusive of both new migrants and existing residents.

Housing and neighbourhoods monitor: fragility and recovery
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011
The recession has had wide-ranging effects on housing market performance and socio-economic conditions within neighbourhoods. This study looks at these pressures and how they manifest themselves from national to neighbourhood level, highlighting the fragile and uneven recovery from the recession. It shows how national policies, such as fiscal incentives, have very different effects locally because of the institutional, economic and tenure structure of local housing markets.

Housing: one borough’s experience
Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau has developed an online crowd-sourcing website, mapping the impact of changes in housing benefit.

The housing report
CIH, Shelter and National Housing Federation, 2012
A “mid-term” review of the impact of government housing policy based on official sources of data for England. It acknowledges progress (e.g. in limiting evictions, repossessions and arrears and bringing empty homes into use) but is also critical about other areas (worsening overcrowding, homeless families increasingly vulnerable and a tension between cuts in Local Housing Allowance and rising private sector rents).

How can we build more homes in Britain?
Institute for Public Policy Research, 2012

The Impact of Freezing LHA rates in London
London Councils (October 2015)
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates determine the maximum housing benefit that can be paid to private renters. The government has proposed freezing the rates for four years. London Councils has analysed what this could mean for the affordability to housing benefit recipients of renting privately in different parts of London. The report recommends an exemption for London.

Is London's rough sleeping strategy working? 
July 2012, Liam Kelly, The Guardian

Keeping work
Juliette Hough, Jane Jones and Becky Rice, Broadway, 2013
A report that shows how being in employment can be a central part of the journey away from homelessness, building self-esteem, enabling financial independence and bringing a sense of meaning and possibility to people's lives. The research was funded by Trust for London and DWP.

LONDON MIGRANT HOMELESSNESS CONFERENCE - Summary report
This summary report from Homeless Link and Refugee Action gives a useful overview of current issues in Destitution. 

London Together
Revolving Doors (February 2016)
The report shows that there are at least 7,000 individuals experiencing a combination of all three of the following issues – substance misuse, offending, and homelessness – across London each year. There are a further 32,000 people facing two of these needs at once. A conservative estimate suggests that the repeated demand generated by this combined group results in a cost of at least £760 million per year to London’s public services.  The 7,000 people facing all three needs generate at least £160 million of this total.

Lost and found: faith and spirituality in the lives of homeless people
Carwyn Gravell, Lemos & Crane, 2013
Insight into the needs and aspirations of homeless and vulnerable people, and guidance for service providers about how to work in more person-centred ways with clients

No Going Back: Breaking the cycle of rough sleeping and homelessness
London Assembly Housing Committee (July 2014)
This report looks at what happens after, and why one third of the people picked up by ‘No Second Night Out’ workers end up on the streets again. The report draws conclusions and makes recommendations on how the Mayor and other key players in the field of homelessness could work together more effectively to make a difference. Ending rough sleeping is an extremely bold aim and one which the Committee endorses. The conclusions and recommendations in this report are intended to support the realisation of that ambition.

No place to call home: The social impacts of housing undersupply on young people
Jenny Pennington with Graeme Cooke, Dalia Ben-Galim, December 2012
This report explores the social impacts of the undersupply of housing on young people, in areas such as life aspirations, starting a family, professional ambitions, relationships with parents and partners, security and control, and community belonging.

Nowhere fast: The journey in and out of unsupported temporary accommodation
IPPR North (February 2016)

This report shines a light on the predicament facing single homeless adults, who often struggle to access mainstream housing options and so end up moving in and out of low-quality temporary accommodation, which has impacts on their health and creates future costs for local services.

Providing an alternative pathway
National Housing Federation, 2013
How integrating housing with health and social care can save significant amounts in health and care costs and improve the lives of vulnerable and older people. The report is aimed at local health and social care commissioners and features five examples of people who have benefited from integrated housing, care and support services, based on local authorities, housing providers, GPs and acute health trusts working together.

Rebuilding the relationship between affordable housing and philanthropy
Dan Corry, various authors, Vicki Prout (2013)
Published with Peabody and The Smith Institute, this report discusses the outcomes that housing associations create and their charitable funding as well as the future of the affordable housing and philanthropy sectors.

Severe weather responses
No apologies for reminding readers of bad weather on the horizon. Homeless Link has published a report warning that welfare benefits changes could create problems for cold weather shelters which rely  on housing benefit for part of their income. Last winter's cold weather saw more shelters set up, for longer periods and serving more people, with many saying that they could not meet demand. Services fear that the rollout of universal credit, "bedroom tax" amd the benefit cap could increase demand. Homeless Link is urging councils and services to begin planning emergency winter provision now and asks the government to clarify whether winter shelters will continue to be funded once universal credit is introduced. Find the report here and a new guide for local communities on setting up a a winter shelter. 

Stressed: a review of London’s private rental sector
Margarethe Theseira, Centre for London, 2013
One in four London of London’s homes are privately rented but standards are worryingly low. This report analyses the state of rented housing in London and argues that offering landlords investment incentives would help raise standards.

Tackling homelessness and exclusion: understanding complex lives
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011
The prevalence of mental health issues, traumatic childhood experiences and suicide attempts amongst people accessing low-level homelessness support services.

Tenants spending twice as much on accommodation as homeowners
July 2012, Randeep Ramesh, The Guardian

Tenancy Strategies
July 2012, Shelter

Together at Home: a new strategy for housing
June 2012, IPPR

Tracking Welfare Reform
London Councils, September 2013
Figures show 4,600 London households in private sector temporary accommodation could be unable to pay their rent in full because of the benefit cap and this report details the impact of this on London’s local authorities and the subsequent threat on the funding of other services. This report, written by London Councils, calls for an urgent review of the cost of welfare reform for the city

Turning Generation Rent into Homeowners
Localis, September 2016

A whole generation is being locked out of the housing market. Rising house prices, cost of living increases, stagnant wages, depressed housing supply and tighter lending criteria are all contributing to the creation of a generation of renters, for whom the dream of homeownership remains just that, a fantasy.

This white paper is focused on one constituency, Generation Rent – those under 40s that are prospective first-time buyers, yet stuck in the renting cycle and struggling to save for a deposit.

Understanding Supply Constraints in the Housing Market
July 2012, Shelter

What can housing providers do to successfully handle the consequences of national policies and trends relating to UK immigration?
John Perry, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011
UK migration explored from the perspective of the role of housing providers and steps being taken towards better neighbourhood cohesion and integration. Perceived or actual competition between migrants and host communities for housing are considered, suggesting that more needs to be done to support those neighbourhoods where migrants already live.

Why do neighbourhoods stay poor?
Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Cambridge University, 2010
A major two-year study of neighbourhood deprivation in Birmingham for the Barrow Cadbury Trust looks at why, despite long periods of national economic growth and major local regeneration programmes, there are still severe concentrations of poverty and deprivation in neighbourhoods across Birmingham.