Welfare reform research

Does the welfare system help prevent and support people out of homelessness? Our research aims to help find out.

Latest findings

Based on interviews with homeless people and a survey of 98 homelessness services, our High Cost to Pay research into the impact of benefit sanctions found that:

  • Around a third of homeless people on Job Seekers Allowance and nearly one in five on Employment and Support Allowance have been sanctioned, which is disproportionately higher than the general population.
  • Nearly a third of services report homeless people being sanctioned while facing poor mental health, learning difficulties or substance misuse problems
  • The majority report clients being pushed into debt, food poverty and survival crime
  • Services report clients’ existing problems getting worse as a result of sanctions, with only a minority being motivated by sanctions to find employment 

More needs to be done

The report calls for changes to the sanctions regime to take into account the issues homeless people are trying to overcome.

A high cost to pay 2013: Impact of benefit sanctions

Our 2013 research into sanctions and homeless people indicated that clients of homelessness services are at greater risk of being sanctioned. It found a third of homeless people on Job Seekers Allowance had had benefits reduced or stopped, which is disproportionately higher than the general population.


No where to move 2013

After the Government made a change to the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) – the level of Housing Benefit that applies to single people in the private rented sector. This report examines data taken from 55,537 property listings in London to assess the impact of this change.


How prepared are councils for welfare reform? 2013

Findings from interviews with 42 local authorities into their readiness for Welfare Reform. 


The programmes not working 2012: Employment support and homelessness

Research by Crisis, Homeless Link and St Mungo’s Broadway looking at the experience of homeless people on the Work Programme