Independent review selects I-SPHERE research as most highly ranked report of 2021



homelessness report

Thinkhouse, an independent review panel, has selected the Heriot-Watt University-led Homelessness Monitor 2021: England, funded by Crisis, as the top research report of 2021.

Produced annually for homeless charity Crisis and led by Heriot-Watt's Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE), the Homelessness Monitor series maps the scale, nature and trends in homelessness, providing an authoritative analysis of the homelessness impacts of economic and policy developments across the four UK countries.

Thinkhouse selected the report in a review of 2021's best housing research with the judging panel commenting: “It covers a year dominated by the pandemic and therefore provides a comprehensive analysis of the Homelessness Reduction Act and the Everyone In scheme. It concludes that this and other measures introduced in the pandemic had a positive impact in reducing homelessness…It clearly lays out why we need to build more and better social housing.”

Since its launch in 2010, the Homelessness Monitor series has become established as an essential analysis of emerging trends and policy implications on homelessness and now anticipates future developments likely to have the most significant impacts on homelessness.

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, director of I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University commented: “We are extremely proud that the work that we lead, funded by Crisis, has been selected as this year's leading report by a panel of housing experts. The 2021 Homelessness Monitor England report was particularly revealing as it provided an independent analysis of the pandemic response and its resultant impact on homelessness outcomes.

“Our report clearly showed that interventions targeting homelessness during the pandemic were highly effective in ensuring many people experiencing or at risk of homelessness had somewhere safe to stay. However, homelessness will rise unless there is strong central government commitment to addressing the underlying housing and welfare policy drivers”.

The Monitor series brings together insights from economists, social policy scholars, housing specialists, charities, frontline service providers and those experiencing homelessness, and is the most comprehensive study of its type.

Led by Heriot-Watt University, the Monitor series was developed in partnership with Crisis, the national charity for people facing homelessness, with input to the 2021 England Monitor report from the University of New South Wales and the University of Glasgow. Through a collaborative approach, the Monitor series broke new ground by applying high-level policy, economic, legal and quantitative expertise to a 'social' topic. It also inspired an Australian Homelessness Monitor, demonstrating its international impact.


Annie Pugh