Research on Homelessness

This section contains homelessness-related research, which helps inform the Housing Executive's strategic and operational policies.

Strategic Review of Temporary Accommodation

In January 2019, Campbell Tickell was commissioned to undertake a Strategic Review of Housing Executive’s Temporary Accommodation portfolio.

The overall aim of the project was to provide the Housing Executive with an evidence base on which to assess whether its temporary accommodation is in the right locations, of the right type (and quality), and is cost effective and strategically relevant in the exercise of its homelessness duties. This research will also assist the Housing Executive in considering the best and most cost-effective model for the delivery of temporary accommodation. 

The Campbell Tickell report is a very useful evidence base that will inform the Housing Executive’s wider Strategic Review of Temporary Accommodation and resultant Strategic Action Plan.

Download the report (PDF 3.4 MB)


Analysis of Homeless Presenters and Acceptances Report (2019)

In 2017, the NI Audit Office (NIAO) published a report entitled ‘Homelessness in Northern Ireland’. In part one of the report, the NIAO focused on the level of homeless presenters and the increasing levels of Full Duty Applicant Status acceptances. The document noted legislative differences between UK jurisdictions and it was suggested that a number of societal factors in NI, may have resulted in an increase in presenters and acceptances, especially in relation to Accommodation Not Reasonable.  The Housing Executive recognised a need for research to gain an understanding of and respond to Recommendation 1 of the NIAO report, which asked why the level of statutory homeless acceptances in NI are significantly higher than in other UK jurisdictions.

This piece of research was externally commissioned by the Housing Executive and undertaken by lead consultant, Fiona Boyle with support from the Housing Executive via the Research Unit and the Homelessness Policy & Strategy Unit. In addition, specialist knowledge and expertise on homelessness policy and data for the rest of the United Kingdom has been provided by Professor Nicholas Pleace, Centre for Housing Policy, The University of York.

Download report (PDF 4 MB)

Northern Ireland Homelessness Strategy Report: an evaluation (2017)

This evaluation focuses on the first four and a half years of the implementation of the five-year Homelessness Strategy for Northern Ireland, 2012-2017.  It provides:

  • an overview of the Strategy and a description of the evaluation process;

  • analysis of key issues including: the prevention of homelessness over the period 2012-2016; access to affordable housing; rough sleeping; and provision of services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals; and  

  • comparisons with Scotland, Wales, England and experience and practice from other countries.

The report concludes with a discussion of progress and recommendations.

Download report (PDF 1.16 MB)

The Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Housing First Support Service piloted by Depaul in Belfast, funded by Supporting People: an SROI evaluation (2016)

The ‘Housing First’ approach provides permanent housing for homeless people who are dependent on alcohol and drugs or who have mental health issues, with the support, social care and health services they need provided to them in their own homes or locally in their community. The intention is that housing should be available even if a homeless person refuses treatment for their substance misuse or mental health issues.

This study sought to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the Housing First model piloted by Depaul in Northern Ireland in helping to achieve the aims of the Housing Executive’s Housing Related Support Strategy 2012-2015 and Homelessness Strategy 2012-2017 and provide an insight into the benefits to be gained by adopting Housing First approaches to homelessness more widely in Northern Ireland.  The research team estimated the social return on the investment (SROI) from the Supporting People programme and Depaul in the Housing First service, comparing this with costs in other accommodation-based and floating support services for homelessness people in Northern Ireland.

Download report (PDF 1.17 MB)

Through Our Eyes (2015)

The Housing Executive commissioned this study into Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) homelessness in Northern Ireland. The broad aim of the research was to add to the Housing Executive’s evidence base on the changing characteristics of homelessness in Northern Ireland, specifically with regards to Northern Ireland’s LGB&T communities. The research was undertaken by The Rainbow Project (TRP), in partnership with Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI).

Download document (PDF 1.58 MB)

Measuring Homelessness and Housing Exclusion in Northern Ireland: A test of the ETHOS typology

This research aimed to explore how effective the European Typology of Housing Exclusion and Homelessness (ETHOS) would be, both as a measure of homelessness and housing exclusion for Northern Ireland itself, and as a means of contrasting homelessness policy outcomes in Northern Ireland with those in comparable countries or regions.

Download report (PDF 1 MB)

Archived homelessness research

House Condition Survey
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